I grew up mowing my family’s lawn in Leesburg, Virginia. It was a pretty big yard. The back was huge, on a slight hill, and near the end of my days there, had a fallen weeping willow that was difficult to maneuver around. Despite the difficulty and time it took to finish, I loved it. Yes, I loved mowing the lawn as a teenager. And while my love for it might have had a small part to do with earning $6 each time, I actually really enjoyed the rhythm of it. I loved making the lines in the yard perfect. I loved the solitude of it. I loved the finished product.
I used a Honda gas-powered mower back then. We also had a push-reel mower, but that was more for my dad when he had the time to mow the grass. That was his mower, but I hated that thing. I just never felt like I had the muscle power to truly get a good cut. I was much more partial to the gas-powered mower and the self-propelled feature to get me up the hill.
Fast forward 12 years. Jeremy and I bought our first house. Being the environmentally friendly guy that he is (and proving he is more like my dad every day), Jeremy was only interested in a push-reel mower. I agreed – an homage to my dad. How hard could it be with our small yard? The answer? When the grass gets really long because you didn’t realize how fast it could grow in a week, it’s REALLY hard. I hated mowing the lawn with our push-reel mower. While Jeremy had said he would do the mowing, I had a more flexible schedule, so I could mow the lawn on weekday afternoons therefore I was doing it more often than not. It was not easy. It was not fun. But I did it to get it done. I hate a un-mowed lawn, especially when it affects my curb appeal.
The first time I mowed the lawn when I was pregnant with Mason, I quickly realized that it was not going to be a good idea to continue. You see, to push the mower through the long grass, I often use my stomach in addition to my arms. A full-body push! Not good for Raindrop growing in my belly. (That was our nickname for Mason when she was in my belly. Cooper got the nickname of Snowflake since he was going to be a winter baby. I digress.) Luckily we lived across the street from some great people who had a gas-powered mower. Whenever the neighbor would see me struggle with the push mower, he would offer his gas mower. I quickly took him up on the offer. And then I took him up on it every time I mowed. It just created such a nice looking lawn. Straight lines, even cuts… It was heaven! I had the code to their locked shed so I could borrow the mower even when they were away. I even went as far as to sneak around to mow the grass. Jeremy would tell me he was going to mow the lawn on the weekend, but I would sneak home early from work and use the neighbor’s gas mower before he could do it with the push mower. I was obsessed! I wanted the straight lines. I wanted the easy rhythm. I wanted the satisfaction.
We have lived in our house for seven years. Our nice neighbors moved away after year three. So for the past four years, I have had to use the push-reel mower because there was no other option. Through all of this, you can only imagine my conversations with Jeremy. “Why can’t we just get a gas-powered mower?” There was some whining, much complaining. (If only the kids knew how much whining I did!) The push-reel mower got the worst of it, though. If there was a hidden camera taping me while I used the push mower, you would die laughing watching what transpired. Cursing, kicking and throwing the mower, jumping up and down in frustration… Oh, it was not pretty.
About 2 weeks ago after an especially tough run at the front yard, I had had enough. The blades have not been sharpened once in seven years. The foam handle is falling apart. I told Jeremy that I was not going to mow the lawn again until he sharpened the blades and fixed the handle. Basically the mower needed a makeover, and I wasn’t touching it until that was done. I put my foot down!
Last weekend, Jeremy bought an electric mower. I had not requested this nor demanded it. This was all his doing. He said it was a compromise. I see it as a victory.
p.s. The yard looked amazing after he used the new electric mower. Heck, I think it looked even better than what a gas-powered mower could do!
p.p.s. While I have not used the new mower yet, I can only imagine that mowing the lawn will bring me the joy and peace I had all those years ago.