Monday, May 15, 2017

The Single Girl and the Lawn Mower

I did something really amazing last week. Amazing for me at least. It was something I've never done before, but now will have to do regularly. So I conquered it.

I mowed the lawn.

Woot! Woot! Wait. You're not impressed? Let me explain.

Growing up I never had to mow the lawn, because I had a brother. If Dad wasn't mowing the lawn, my brother was. I did the laundry. Simple division of labour. Sexist, perhaps, but it was the 1970s and made perfect sense to us.

When I bought my first house in downtown St. John's, my front door opened basically right on to the sidewalk, and I had a heavily shaded postage stamp backyard. Most of that yard was taken up with perennial plantings and stone walkways. There was one tiny patch of sad grass, and I cut it with garden shears.

Then I moved to Toronto and moved in with Jim. He considered it his job to mow first our tiny townhouse lawn, and later our big and beautiful suburban spread. Once our big guy was old enough, he took over.

So, it's not something I ever really had to do. Plus, I could never seem to get the darn mower started. The couple of times I tried, because the boys in my life were taking longer than I would like to get to work, I simply didn't have the wingspan to pull the cord out far and fast enough to turn over the motor. Last summer when we were shopping for a new mower, I almost purchased one with an electric start, so I could use it. But I quickly came to my senses and realised that would just mean I'd end up cutting the grass every week.

So, cord it was, and cord it is. And I do deeply regret that decision now, given everything that's happened.


We got back from Disney and found our lawn looking more like a meadow. The rain did wonders for it. As the sun came back and our neighbours trimmed their lawns to perfection, I became more and more embarrassed by the state of mine. I could have called for my big guy to come over and help. I came close to asking the kid across the street. But then I had an "I am WOMAN" moment and decided I needed to give it one more chance.

It wasn't easy, but I found a way to start to mower. It involves me doing this ballerina-type 180 degree quick turn, and probably looks really funny, but the mower starts. I did both the back and the front, plus the boulevard. Please note our property is 55x120, and the footprint of our house is only 1000 square feet. It's a lot of grass!

Ok, so not this much grass, but this kinda explains how I felt about how much there was.
I can't even express how proud and accomplished I felt. The lawn looked pretty good, not perfect, but it was presentable. I have to work on my technique and figure out the best path to take, but I'll get there.

This widow's life is bringing a bunch of new experiences, and reminding me that I am actually a pretty capable and competent gal. I think I've got this.

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