- Local Guide
I remember a few short months ago, sitting inside on the couch with my feet propped up, looking at the snow fluttering in the sky and thinking, it won't be long before we'll be back out working in the yard in the warmth and sunshine.
Well, be careful what you wish for, because now I'm out in the yard working, and I'm not inside with my feet propped up watching sports on television.
Alright, alright, I know what you're going to say â€” you mow the grass and it stays mowed for usually an entire week, or at the very least, four or five days.
I don't mind using the lawn mower as much as the snowblower.
Sometimes, you might remove snow two or three times in one day. You mow the lawn, and it usually stays mowed for the rest of the day.
You have to take the bad with the good. If you like warm weather and sunshine, then you have to be willing to endure yard work or hire someone to do it.
I bet I know the next question you're about to ask â€” why not get a lawn tractor?
Now, you've got my attention. There's no doubt that a lawn tractor makes mowing a lot more fun and makes sense for those of you who have to mow an acre or two of grass.
However, in my yard, I would have a hard time making more than one sweep with a lawn tractor, since it takes me less than 20 minutes to cut my entire yard. There are people who measure their lawn mowing in days, not hours. They definitely need a lawn tractor.
Back in Parma, Ohio, a huge suburb in Cleveland where I grew up, not only did we mow the grass, but we would collect the clippings in a bag and place them in a garbage bag for the city to pick up and take to a landfill.
I did that when I first moved here and mowed the lawn at the house we rented and asked when Punxsy Borough picked up grass clippings. Most everyone I asked about this just chuckled and walked away.
My parents' yard was much larger than my yard here in Punxsy and would take over an hour-and-a-half to mow, especially when you had to stop and dump the grass catcher.
My younger brother Jeff took over the mowing duties as he got older.
The first thing I noticed is that he seemed to take a lot of breaks.
Like every row. Mow a row and take a break, mow a row, etc.
I remember that he started in the early afternoon on a warm summer day when it was daylight until 9 p.m. He finally finished at about 10 p.m., while holding a flashlight.
I asked my dad what he thought of that, and he said, "I think he did pretty good job, don't you?"
I just about dropped over. I think Jeff was looking to go for the "Guinness Book of World Records" for the world's longest lawn mowing. At least it didn't take a number of days.
One of my most treasured toys I had when growing up was my pretend toy plastic lawn mower that even came with its own grass-catcher bag.
Back when my dad still mowed the grass, I would get my pretend mower out and pretend to put gas in it and follow along behind him, but not too close.
Eventually, I grew up and I had my own small, profitable lawn-mowing business for a couple of summers.
The owner of the lawn provided the mower that he or she wanted me to use â€” there were still no riding mowers, by the way.
One yard owner had something called an electric lawnmower, which came complete with 50 yards of electric cord to drag along with you.
This is the dumbest thing ever invented. Picture this: you're mowing the grass and the main task is to keep the chord away from the blade.
I did pretty well with that for 98 percent of the time, except once or twice, when I mowed over the cord, instantly cutting the power to the mower and thus concluding mowing activities for that day.
For some reason, I got fired from that lawn-mowing job.
I have tried to raise my children as I was raised, with plastic toy lawn mowers. Joe and Mike's mowers did something my toy mower never did â€” blow bubbles.
They'd start to mow by following me, like I did with my dad, while I was mowing with my real mower, happily blowing bubbles behind me.
Now, think about this for a minute: Is this not the silliest thing ever invented, a lawn mower that doesn't mow grass but blows bubbles?
My kids only mowed until the bubble solution ran out, which was about five or six minutes.
I've often thought of inventing a toy lawn mower that not only blows bubbles but cuts the grass, too.
By the way, they never did like mowing grass, maybe because the real mower didn't blow bubbles out of it.
So, all right, you've convinced me that it's better to be outside doing yard work in the sunshine and warm temperatures as opposed to sitting on the couch watching television in 10-degree weather with a blanket wrapped around me and a K-Cup of hot something or other.
There is a solution to the grass mowing thing. Artificial turf. Or green-colored cement.
I don't think the Scotts Weed & Feed guy on television would like that very much. Instead of "feed your lawn, feed it," how about "clean lawn, clean it or repaint it green."
You're right I would enjoy it much more if a had a riding mower.
The next problem I'm working on is getting grass to grow in in my yard â€” and not in the cracks of the sidewalk.
Spirit reporter Larry McGuire much prefers gassing up his truck versus his lawn mower â€” if only it could cost the same.