Not Getting Mowed Over

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's been an interesting summer.

Summer already, you ask?

Well, sort of.

Down on the Chapman ranch, things are (well, were) in full bloom. The budding pears are taking shape. The fig (bush?) is starting to sprout, and the cherries are all a-grow. All signs, perhaps remarkably so given that last major cold snap was a rather rough one, point to a nice crop.

Yes, I know, it rather sounds like spring more so than summer, but the grass tells me different. It's growing.

A lot.

Yes, yes, it still sounds like spring, I'll concede, but the feel of the grass seems to scream beyond spring into summer. There's just so much of it-to the tune that the other day my 10-year-old remarked that it looked like no one lived there.

Not that I'm attached to it in any sort of sentimental way, but I'm having a difficult time cutting it.

In my defense (though it's a weak one) I've had a broken-down riding mower since the end of last season and I just hadn't gotten around to it. And, truth told, I vaguely knew something was wrong with the contraption this spring, but I just couldn't recall what it was. As it turned out, it would need parts, semi-expensive ones (Excuse #1).

Then, too, you know how garages get for organizationally challenged souls like me. The solution to our house space problem for the wife over the years was to “put it in the garage,” whatever “it” was. Well, we've found there's only so much input our garage could take and, add to it a winter's worth of collecting and moving things about out there, and it had gotten a bit difficult to even get to the lawn mower much less get it out. (Excuse #2)

And, hey, we've been either a bit busy on the weekends (excuse #3) in recent weeks or it was raining (excuse #4) or we were going to a 4-H competition with my daughter (excuse #5) or there was something I would simply prefer to do (excuse #6) to get around to getting the mower out, fixed and put to work.

But time has caught up with me. The pleasant walks about spring fields have turned to a watch where to step summer and I can put the duty off no longer.

Besides, it's getting hard to see our beagle-sized dog, Gates, going to and fro on his runner unless you're looking from up-hill.

On the plus side, however, grass is only patchy thick in some areas and it's not as bad as all that on the whole (excuse #7?). And, at least, I haven't been clipped for $257/gallon lawnmower gas like those early cutters have.

Just think of the money I've saved?

Now I concede it's time, though, to pony up, dig deep in the pockets, throw hard-earned $10 bills to the wind to fill the tank and pitch myself out of the rough. Summer's here and (sigh) I think I'm finally ready for the weekly trimming up ritual-cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. Once it starts, there's no turning back to fall.

Oh, joy.