I have been pushing lawn mowers around since I was in the third grade. It has never been a job I liked very much, but over those sixty years I have come to except it as burden I am destine to do. Of all those miles of pushing a mower, I can’t recall any that made me feel as miserable as the mowing I did last evening.
All of the rain and then my injury, meant that the lawn had not been mowed for a month or so, and the rain showers had really encouraged a lot of grass growth, so the lawn really needed mowing. The fact that a university student who is working as a gardener and has taken mercy on us, is coming over tomorrow to work in our sorry garden, meant that we have been scrambling around trying to make things as pleasant for her as possible.
The biggest problem for her will be our mosquito infestation, which is terrible. Mowing down the grass and weeds will encourage the pests to go elsewhere, but last night, during the time I was mowing, they were still present in hoards.
I wore long sleeves and legs, I put on my ear protectors, then a bee keeper’s netted hat over my head. I wore heavy gloves to keep the mosquitoes off of my hands. I cranked up the mower and began.
Instantly, I was surrounded by the pests. They couldn’t get too my face, but I could feel them on my back, biting through my shirt. My ear protectors slipped off of my ears, when they were bumped by a low hanging tree branch, I didn’t want to raise the netting on my hat to put them back on my ears and I didn’t want to stop, I just wanted to get done as soon as possible.
The grass was very thick and damp underneath, so I had to go slow, despite the insect assault. About every 5 steps, the cut grass would clog up the mower’s chute, and I would have to stop and prod around with a stick to open it again. I was getting hot; the sun was putting out a lot of heat, I was sweating, and the netting surrounding my head held the heat inside.
It was all a horrible experience. I did stick it out until the lawn was done, but it didn’t look great with all of the big clumps of cut grass everywhere.
Hopefully the mosquitoes will now lack hiding places in the lawn and move off somewhere further away. Unfortunately, I fear there will still be a thousands left to pester the poor student gardener as she works tomorrow.
Please note that the smile on my face in the picture was just for the photo, it in no way indicates my true feelings at the time.
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