Here it is, the second week of August, and I’ve only cut the grass twice this year. And both times have been in the last two weeks.
Typically, it’s a task I rather enjoy completing — one of those chores one can do and get instant gratification through sight and smell. I love the smell of a freshly cut lawn, and our lawn is large, so there’s a lot to smell.
This year, however, it’s been just one thing after another, followed by procrastination and lawnmower issues. And heat, don’t forget the heat.
I know it’s always been hot here, but the older I get the less I like to be out in it. Now I know why old people prefer the mountains.
I didn’t cut the grass in March or early April because we have a couple of honeybee hives, and the bees really need the little wildflowers and blooms that populate throughout the yard. Plus, the grass wasn’t too high anyway. We also have horses, so we were able to keep some of the high spots in check through grazing.
In mid to late April, I pulled out my self-propelled mower and was ready to get to work. I hate that mower. I bought it last year for a hundred bucks, and it’s been nothing but trouble.
It would take 10 minutes and 40 pulls to get it to finally crank. I reached down to pull, but there was nothing there. The pull cord was MIA. I didn’t even have to think about what had happened. One of Lucy’s rescues chews on and up everything. Watch out for rocks, because he’ll chew on them, too.
I think he’s gotten better lately. He most likely chewed the cord off back in the fall when I put the lawnmower up. Or maybe he’s already chewed everything up. Either way, I’ve never been a fan of this dog, so it didn’t make me very happy. I just put the lawnmower away, in disgust.
In my early 20s, I always said I wanted three things in life: a pool table, a basement and a riding lawnmower. Now, I don’t care a thing about the first two, but a riding lawnmower is still something I want.
It doesn’t even have to be a zero-turn. I just need a riding lawnmower. Maybe I’ll have one by next spring. Who knows? If I had a pool table in the basement, I’d sell it just to get one.
Then came May, or what the bee community proclaimed as “No Mow May.” There’s “No Shave November,” so why not? I wasn’t fighting the system.
By the time June rolled around, the grass needed a serious trim. If my grass had been a member of a 60s band, it would have been the fifth Beatle. As badly as it needed cut, for a number of reasons, including the heat, I just wasn’t up to it, so I went “full Elsa” from Frozen and “let it grow.” Never go “full Elsa.”
So, a few weeks ago, in early July, I took my mower to the shop for repairs. He’d fixed the cord relatively easy, but unbeknownst to me, the kill switch cable had been partially chewed, too.
There was a problem, though. He didn’t have a replacement on hand and needed to order it, but I really needed to cut the grass, so I took it anyway.
After the 39th pull and other tricks, I got it cranked and proceeded to cut my grass. Finally. It didn’t go so well. The mower kept going dead. Eventually, it broke again. I was only half-way finished. I just wanted to throw up my hands and say, “No Mow July!” Heck, “No Mow 2020!” Why the heck not? It’s been that kind of a year.
I asked a couple of guys from the church if they had a self-propelled push mower, but they did not. Finally, I asked my preacher. He didn’t have a self-propelled mower, either, but he did have a mower. I needed to get the yard finished, so I went ahead and borrowed it.
Using the pastor’s lawnmower was divine intervention. It cranked on the first pull. It pushed with ease. I had a smile on my face, as did the chickens following right behind me. The crickets were running for their lives.
I didn’t quite finish the first day due to the rain. We have a big yard, remember? Then it rained again the next day — and again the next day. By the time I was finally able to finish, the rest of the yard needed cutting again. I’m not even joking.
It was much easier this go around, and by the time I finished, my preacher needed it back. He has a zero-turn but needs the push mower for a hill behind his house.
The yard looked great when I was done with it. Everyone said so, and I agreed.
I just went out to check the mail and noticed that it needs cutting again. I think I’ll wait until “Cut Some September.” I don’t think I can do the whole thing again.
Jody Fuller is from Opelika. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at email@example.com. For more information, visit www.jodyfuller.com.
Catch the latest in Opinion
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!