Time to retire the lawn mower

Time to retire the lawn mower

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt

West Tennesseans, I’m asking you to join me in making a pact. Let’s retire the lawn mowers for the year. C’mon. It’s late September. It’s time to shove that lawn mower into the garage or shed. I know. This is easier for some of you than others.
Some of you have turned lawn care into an art form. You’re the guy who mows every two to three hours and uses sewing scissors to trim around the driveway. You weed-eat that spot underneath the deck that nobody even sees.
Just one word of counsel to all you outdoor over-achievers out there. Your neighbors don’t like you. Sure, they ooh and aah over your yard like you’re the Bob Vila of Bermuda grass. They may even invite you to their Christmas Open House. But trust me. You’ve set the bar a little too high and there are rumblings of resentment.
For some of you, retiring the lawn mower will be sheer pleasure. In your mind, lawn care is way over-rated. You’re the guy who mows the grass once a month. You have no idea why your begonias never blossomed. Your shrubs have grown higher than the roof. The UPS man once said of your place, “Wow! I didn’t know anyone lived here.”
The only signs of life are your kids playing “jungle adventure” in the back yard. The dead mums from 1989 are still on the back porch in the original containers. The dried-up poinsettia from Aunt Gertrude’s Christmas party greets visitors at the front door. A mechanical Santa Claus in your yard waves at the neighborhood kids well past Easter.
For you outdoor under-achievers, I’m the bearer of good news. The mowing has ceased. You can stop feeling guilty. You can stop saying, “I should mow tomorrow.” OR “Does anyone remember where we left the mower?” It’s OK. Just call it quits. And by the way, don’t even bother taking down the Christmas lights at this point. December is just around the corner.
When I was growing up, my brother and I always asked for a riding lawn mower. My daddy didn’t believe in riding mowers. He said they were for old people or people who couldn’t walk. We were young and fully mobile. So we pushed.
But we live in the country and now have a riding mower. Having observed even young adolescents riding on mowers, I naively assumed it was not rocket science. I figured it was like driving a car. Turn the key and steer around like a bumper car at Six Flags.  
I was wrong. It takes coordination. The lawn mower salesman should have made me drive it around the parking lot before he agreed to sell it to us. He owed that to society at large. My dear husband tried to teach me the fine art of using the mower. At one point he yelled, “Honey, use the throttle. Use the throttle.” Throttle. What an appropriate word!
I’m happy to report that I learned how to use the mower. But I’ll not be shedding any tears when the mowing ceases for winter. As for you who market riding mowers to the general public, I have a tiny suggestion. Every new mower needs a sign which reads, “If it took you more than three years to learn to ride a bicycle, use extreme caution.”
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website, lisasmartt.com.

Published in The Messenger 9.19.12


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