Monday, May 11, 2015

Why Mowing The Lawn is So Cathartic

I should amend that title to - some times.  Most times.  Maybe never if it's your most hated chore.  Around here, the cat box is the one everyone runs from (literally, I'm not sure what that cat eats to make that stink).  Mowing the lawn - that will be done before most every other chore (since "chore" does not mean catching up on re-runs of M*A*S*H* or reading interesting blogs about where dead celebrities are buried).

Our property is only five acres, but almost one of those acres is fully manicured.  As in park-like manicured.  When I first moved in with the Hubs, we had a Craftsman self-propelled push mower, complete with bagger.  It took FOUR HOURS to mow the place. In June, with allergies.  I went out that day and bought the first riding lawn mower I could find in our small town.  (And then wondered how I would get it home, but that's a whole 'nuther story.)

That rider has since been replaced - and replaced again (although the second one is still on the property despite going through the flood of '06 and a pre-teen driver.  Oh, and the lawn mower races, which of course, you need two to race.  Dur.

I am usually the one to mow.  Occasionally the Teenager chooses to do it (actually, we choose for her), but now that she's actually good at it, the novelty has waned.  No matter.  I actually love doing it, as long as it's not June when my allergies are at an all time combat zone despite pharmaceutical claims of "Claritan Clear".  Here's some of my reason for fighting for the right to mow the joint:

1.  Nobody bugs you.  No one comes out and asks when dinner will be ready.  Should it ever happen, the predicted outcome would sound something like this:  "Mom/Wife, what's for dinner?"  "I don't know.  Why don't you take over mowing and I'll think about it."  Nope, nobody bugs you.

2.  You can have your own playlist.  I have a second edition (I think) iPod Shuffle.  Remember those?  I think they went the way of the eight-track, but I love mine.  It has no technologically challenging buttons or apps or scroll-throughs or any of that stuff.  Straight, simple, volume up, volume down, skip and repeat.  It's gone through the washing machine (twice) and keeps on ticking playing.  I have everything downloaded on it from Kenny Chesney to Steven Curtis Chapman to Michael Jackson to Journey (and some Guns and Roses for good measure).  Mowing is really one the only times I get to listen to MY music.

3.  You get to see the place cleaned up.  You have to pick up all the hoses, abandoned tools, abandoned toys, branches, whatever is in the path that will ruin the blade.  Cleaner already.  In line with "cleaned up", mowing is fantastic because you mow a path, look behind, and, look, it's shorter.  Two swipes and the place goes from scraggly to first class.

4.  You get to be outside.  Face it.  If you can mow, it means the weather is decent.  You can't/shouldn't mow in the rain because it wrecks the blades.  Which means great weather.  Which means smiley face.

5.  Best way to get some color in your cheeks.  I am not one of those gals who can lay in a chair, read a book and get a tan.  One, I know tans, no matter how healthy they make you look, aren't all that good for you.  Two, I'm too ADHD to even contemplate an hour on my stomach with the bikini top untied, reading a book.  Instead, I lather up on the sunscreen and then go outside in my tank top and short shorts (that no one outside the property line will ever get to see) for some color.

See how relaxing it is?

6.  It's exercise.  Push mower (which is the definition of exercise) or rider (which is pretty lazy), you do burn some calories.  Yes, even the riding lawn mower constitutes as a calorie burner.  And I'm sticking to that.  With no evidence.  Wanna fight about it?

7.  There's nothing else you can be doing.  Since there are no distractions, your mind can go places it wouldn't otherwise.  In the house I might be making dinner, but I'm also doing laundry and fielding phone calls at the same time.  Not so with mowing.  You can only be mowing.  Almost every bright idea I've had (and they are limited) has come to me when I was on the mower.  This blog came about when I was hair-cropping the front yard.  The layout of our new kitchen popped into my head while circling a fruit tree.  Our photography company name came to while I was trying to get the dog out of the way by the chicken coops.  Really, why I do not have a notebook attached to the dash, I'm not sure.

After all, our model has a cell phone holder.  You know, so you can have a phone conversation while you are mowing.  That is not #8 because that is just impossible.

So even if I mowed on Wednesday, if the weather's nice, you will find me out on the mower on Friday.  Trust me, no one dares to come ask me, "Um what ARE you doing?"

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