I mowed my lawn the other day, just an ordinary activity that most of us do. While pushing my mower up a side hill, the neighbor’s lawn service pulled up in front of my house. They proceeded to unload their equipment, and one guy kept giving me the eye.
I suppose it was the pained look on my face as I awkwardly, clumsily pushed it up that side hill. He sat on his riding mower. It was more like a throne. He leaned back like that black plastic or leather upholstery had the makings of fine velvet. He had this smug look on his face. He backed it down like I should understand he was the Nordic God of lawns. I felt positive he’d say, “Now, see, you could be inside watching reruns of Dallas.”
While they mowed and edged, I spent a majority of my time picking up sticks. Then, I’d mow a section. My lawn mower is electric, so I have to be careful not to run over the cord. That would have been embarrassing, upsetting and annoying.
I have several trees. My side and front yard are at a slant. Sometimes, it takes a bit of work to mow this section or that section. Sure enough, while the Nordic God of grass mowed the neighbor’s lawn, I managed to wrap a cord around a tree. That’s not uncommon with my yard and my trees, but again I felt certain the Nordic’s were laughing at me.
It almost felt like I was back in the seventh grade. My first year in junior high, I stumbled with a stack of books. Two ninth graders, tall as timbers peered over at me and took pity. Plebe, they should have said. That’s what the lawn guy wanted to say.
I had to stop and pick up more sticks. I broke one in two and thought of my nephew. He had just turned five, and we’d had a bad storm. I had a lot of downed branches. I told him I’d pay him ten cents for every stick he picked up and placed in my trash can. My back had been bothering me, so I figured it would be worth it. He picked up one stick and broke it in two. “That’s twenty cents, Aunt Rhonda.”
I kept mowing and thought about the smug look on that guy’s face. I had to wonder; my dad was a bus driver. He used to tell my mom, “I drive all day and then when I get home you want to go someplace.”
I wondered if that guy tells his wife, “I mow all day and then when I get home; you want me to mow. Nag, nag, nag.”
I’m curious if his yard is a vast wasteland of grass growing way past the kitchen window. In the movie, The World’s Fastest Indian starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, the main character mowed his lawn by throwing a fireball into his yard.
Two of my neighbor’s own lawn services. I see them mowing their yards. It’s probably like a business card. Who’d want to hire someone who didn’t keep his grass like the cover of some lawn and garden magazine?
I dumped my lawn clippings into my yard waste. Afterwards, I used that time to unwind the cord from the tree. The Nordics were still watching.
A couple of years ago, I injured my knee, and the doctor told me to stay off of it. I HAD to hire a lawn guy. He wanted thirty dollars. He whined about my fence gate. It was too narrow. The gate swung the wrong way. He didn’t like the embankment. Nag, nag, nag. All those things are true. The gate is narrow. The gate did swing the wrong way, and I don’t like the embankment either, but I like thirty dollars in my pocket.
I don’t begrudge my neighbors spending money on lawn service. I wish I could afford it. My other neighbor’s lawn boys carefully place sticks and downed branches on the edge of my property. Or they throw them into my yard. I would gladly take the sticks and deposit them if my neighbor needed the help. But those guys, lazy. Whatever, they’ve got to keep moving, blah, blah, blah.
One time, the lawn guys threw a stick up into my yard, and it hit my leg. “Ow!” I yelled. It didn’t really hurt, but I wanted to make a big show of it. Idiots. You could tell they didn’t know I was there. Their eyes about popped out of their heads. They looked like little boys caught with their finger in the pie.
Other lawn services/boys/Nordics blow leaves into the street or onto my property. I have ten trees. I don’t need any more leaves, thank you very much. I don’t care if they are from my trees. I even looked this up one time. The law says if my trees drop leaves in your yard, it’s your problem.
If everybody had a lawn service, would we ever get rid our leaves or would we just keep blowing the same leaves back and forth from property to property?
I’ve thought about taking all the leaves they blow into my yard and dump them back on my neighbor’s lawn. If the neighbor asks if the lawn boys had been there, I’d shrug.
I was still mowing my front lawn when the Nordics wrapped up the neighbor’s entire yard. They even edged it. I still had the backyard to do when the Nordics drove away grinning, still smug. On to the next yard, I think they even did a fist pump to the chest and a forward ho motion like most Roman Generals urging the troops onward into battle. I certainly felt a little humbled by their efficiency.
But, I can do without their services. I’ll take my thirty dollars and stick it into a special, I’m a cheap skate retirement fund, right after I get it out of the bank.