Coffee with Mimi: The grass is greener when someone else cuts it

Published 8:34 am Saturday, August 7, 2021

There is no shame in giving in. There comes a time when it is just, realistically, the time to give it up.

The problem is more in your head. You just won’t forgive yourself for giving up. We work ourselves into some state where our mind knows it is time, but our heart won’t let us. I’m really talking about the little things. In the big picture, they are little things. But we allow them to become this big thing. We, I mean me, associates some failure of character with giving in. If I had budgeted my time better…If I had planned for the unexpected…

Email newsletter signup

Then I wouldn’t have to give it up.

Well, this latest foolish thinking on my part will go down as utter nonsense. Truly, there are many people with really big problems, life changing ones, and here I am wallowing away about nonsense.

I gave up mowing the yard this summer.

When I first said it out loud, I was embarrassed. Since retiring, I had equated mowing the yard with some noble, necessary act in the history of our family. After all, I have all this extra time which should be channeled toward saving time and money. Time and money which could be better spent on…fill in the blank.

One would think that a year of cancelled activities would have made it even easier to manage the mowing. Pretty much everyday was relatively free of all sorts of encroachments on potential yard mowing time. Here we are nearly through the second mowing season of disrupted schedules and now I finally admit it.

I do not mow the yard any more.

There, I have finally admitted it. I do not mow the yard anymore. We haven’t junked the mower yet. One never knows. It is reassuring to know the equipment is available in case of emergency.

I will happily ditch the trimmer. I never mastered the care and feeding of the string. The proper, and efficient, side to side motion required for smooth and even cuts completely eluded me.

If I had paid attention to some of those details of lawn mowing , I would have reached this end of mowing conclusion much sooner. But there was this nagging devil on my shoulder whispering little nothings about noble acts related to family happiness and efficiency.

I no longer need to worry about rainy days which seemingly occur every time I have free time to mow. On sunny days when I am completely swamped with work, or engaged in some other non-mowing occupation, I am surprisingly relaxed.

It all started, as all these things do, unexpectedly. I left for work in the morning. We were headed out of town on the weekend. I had two days to mow in between. It takes two part days to mow. The math was doable.

It started to rain in the afternoon. Part day one was gone.

Part day two dawned favorably by the weather, not so by the work calendar. Off I go. If I really kept my nose to the grindstone at work, I could pull it off.

The day progressed, out of my control. Not dreadfully, but inconveniently.

I rounded the corner and pulled into the driveway. The grass was mowed. Front to back, and trimmed. Trimmed nicely.

Well, the next door neighbors had experienced a rather unfortunate mechanical malfunction with their riding mower. The mower was definitely not going to be serviceable for a few days.  Days in which grass will continue to grow. They have more sense than I have, and always have a back up plan for which they make no apologies.

Their plan involves a great kid with mowing equipment and parents who were encouraging his entrepreneurial aspirations. Until he gets his full driver’s license, they squired him and his equipment to jobs. He, and they, appeared and got to work.    

My husband watched this scene unfolding next door and made the approach. Would he? Yes, he would. Right then and there, without one moment of discussion by phone or otherwise, MY decision was made for me.

And, I admit it, what a relief. I haven’t mowed once this season. He is a good businessman, this young fellow. He understands that sometimes grass grows and sometimes it doesn’t so much.  In the latter case, one does not need to mow it. And, in that case, homeowners appreciate that money isn’t expended because it is Thursday.

It is the little things that make me happy. He can operate a trimmer just as it should be. Our edges are beginning to look neat and defined. If he is going on vacation, he times the job to keep us under control until his return.

I always encourage kids to spread their wings after high school. Explore the world, serve their country, study something useful, or at least interesting until they discover something that is useful. I think we have one more year before our yard angel clips a graduation announcement on the mail box when he picks up his check.

He had better train someone, because I won’t go back now.