So, an amazing thing happened this weekend, one that hardly ever happens. My husband was out of town and both daughters (the ones who are home for the summer) were at work, so I had a Friday night by myself! I did what any woman on her own would do...
Girl's Night Out!
That's right, I went out and mowed the lawn. And it was great.
I did this as a surprise for my husband, so that when he got back into town late on Saturday it would all be done, and he might not feel like he had to spend Memorial Day doing all the yard work. I did not count on the way things worked out.
At first, everything went fine. I was making neat diagonal lines on our lawn out front, the mower was working well, and it was not unreasonably hot. However, I utilize the plod and trudge method of mowing, which takes a long time. I plod behind the mower for a few turns of the lawn, and then I disconnect the grass bagger and trudge over to the edge of the yard and dump it out. This is in contrast to my husband's method, which is the sprinting method. He RUNS behind the mower, getting both his exercise and the chores done at the same time. One consequence is that he finishes in about 45 minutes and it takes me at least two hours. I would like to point out here that I go as fast as I can. It's just that I am a less-than-svelte middle-aged woman, while my husband is in very good shape. He bicycles to work every day, and is the neighborhood champion at juggling a soccer ball. (He can juggle the ball over 1000 times without missing!) Anyway, so my point is, it takes me a while.
I had started in the evening, reasoning that the sun would not be so hot. I was right, since the sun went down when I had only done about a third of the lawn! No problem, right? My husband has this great headlamp that he wears while mowing in the dark, and it seems to work well for him, so I found the headlamp and went out to fearlessly finish conquering the lawn.
I could not see.
Yeah, okay, I could see a little. There was a pale circle of light on the ground, and if I leaned forward I could kind of tell where I had last mowed. Still, it was not good. Things got trickier when I was on the side of the house, where there is not much grass because the trees block the sun. It had been a while since the last rain, and the ground was very dry. So it was dusty. Every time I mowed on that side, the dust was fairly overwhelming. It got really bad in one area, with dust so thick that I could not even see my little, pale, circle of light on the ground. It was like when it is very foggy and you turn on your high beams in the car. Yeah. It was like that. Only, I was not safely inside a car! It finally dawned on me that there was WAY too much dust, so I turned off the mower and peered down at the bagger. Some of you more experienced people have already figured out what I saw. The bagger was only connected on one side, so the mower was mowing up dust and blowing it directly on ME! Well. I fixed it, and things were much less dusty. Then I started noticing that the ground was sparkle-y. I could think of three explanations for this.
-The dew was starting to form.
-I had dust in my eyes.
-I was mowing over fireflies.
NO! I CAN'T BE MOWING OVER FIREFLIES!
I'm pretty sure it was dew.
But it was hard to see.
My husband doesn't seem to have these problems. He runs along, looking all cool in his head lamp and his hearing protection and his safety glasses. I probably looked pretty cool, too. Imagine a hunched over Pigpen, with a dust cloud flying around me. I know I must have been hunched over by how sore my shoulders were the next morning.
Funny side story: One thing I never do anymore, is mow barefoot. I actually only did it once. Yes, I know I'm supposed to wear shoes, but I have found a more compelling reason than safety! One evening I was mowing as it was getting dark (again), but I was nearly finished. I don't like wearing shoes much in the summer, so I was mowing barefoot. Nearing the end of the job, I started going quickly so as to finish before it got too dark. As I walked very fast, not quite jogging, I mowed over a toad and then stepped on it. Really. It was terrible.
Anyway, back to Friday. It got too dark. I realized I was probably mowing the same spot over and over again while missing other spots, so I went in. It had only been about an hour, but I was filthy, sweaty, and sore.
The next day, I finished mowing. Since I was in the back yard and I was getting bored, I abandoned the mature, back and forth method and resorted to making designs in the grass. Not crazy designs, just squares, triangles, rectangles--that kind of thing. It is very satisfying when mowing a large yard to finish small areas! So, after a little more than another hour, I finished the last triangle (yay!) and trudged to the edge of the yard to dump the final load of grass, put the mower away, and went inside. I got a drink of water and was thinking that maybe I should turn on the sprinklers when there was a roll of thunder. It had been sunny, but within five minutes of coming in, rain was absolutely pouring down. It was amazing! I was sooo happy. I had mowed the lawn AND it was thoroughly watered! Not trimmed, which is too bad because my husband really likes it trimmed, but I don't trim. I have tried, but I don't get along with the trimmer. The parts I trim just look like they need to be trimmed again, and I get frustrated. I figured he wouldn't like coming home to ragged borders and an angry wife! Kind of ruin the whole point, right?
So, I mowed for my hubby, and he did notice on Sunday morning, so even though I was very sore, it was all worth it!