Thursday 12 May 2022

Pushing A Lawnmower

    I grew up hating grass.  From the time I was 8 years old I have been pushing lawnmowers around in circles on lawns, cutting the grass.  Fortunately at present, grass cutting is not a priority, but only because it has been a cold spring and the grass is only now started to turn green.  Luckily where we live in the Interior of British Columbia, during the summer, grass grows rather slowly, but it does grow and so periodically I am forced to crank up the lawn mower and mow the lawn.

    My hatred for mowing began during the summer after third grade, when I got (or was given) the job of mowing the small neighborhood cemetery that was just a house away from where we lived.  I had to push the family lawnmower along the road, over to the cemetery while carrying the gas can.  Once I had arrived I said a silent prayer, hoping that the lawnmower would start.  When it did, I began mowing; back and forth, around the gravestones, then back and forth again for an hour or so, until I was finished.  Then with the front of my T-shirt alI dirty from wiping the sweat off of my face, I pushed the lawnmower back home, awkwardly toting the gas can in one hand that was also pushing the lawn mower.

    I did get paid for mowing the cemetery, a whopping $3 for each time it was mowed.  Of course $3 was worth a lot more than it is today, and it was always gratifying to have the money, but it never did really lessen the hatred I had of mowing the grass.

    I always remember in the sixth grade when my teacher asked the class what they did all summer, and I answered,  “I mowed a cemetery”, he cleverly quipped, “Oh, you worked with a lot of people under you.”

    Mowing got a lot worse when my family moved into the new house they had built, a bit further down the road, in what previously had been a field.  Our new house was wonderful, with a lot more room and more modern, but the down side for me was that it came with a yard (which still seemed like a field) that was way too large.  

    Mowing that lawn during those hot humid Indiana summer days was hell.  Sweat rolled down my face as I pushed the mower back and forth, back and forth across the lawn.  What made the task fifty times worse was the fact that we lived just a house away from a country club, and every time I would look in that direction, I could see the country club kids, splashing and frolicking around in the country club swimming pool.  Boy, did that make me hate lawn mowing.

    I continued mowing lawns into my university days, when I used the job to earn money.  It paid for clothes, record albums, and even some guitars, but I hated doing it.  As I mowed, I dreamed of lawns with grass like golf course greens, that stayed low, and never seemed to grow, and dreams of houses with “lawns” made of concrete which was painted green, that never had to be mowed.  However once I was finished the job, my hatred dissipated, and I would wipe the sweat off of my face and I happily slid the cash into my wallet.

    Below is a photo of Oak Ridge Cemetery, my first paying mowing job.


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