Today was the day.
With no ballgames, choir concerts, or even kids on the agenda, it was finally time to step foot in my very-loney yard as if I were the actual person in charge of this small piece of the world, which I am. I slipped on my shoes and surveyed the situation.
- Oddly giant and twisty dandelion stems, which my organic lawn-treatment company tells me is a sign they are dying off.
- Weeds, weeds, and more weeds. Plus various assorted green growing things that may be weeds or may be things I planted on purpose, I’m not sure.
- Neglected but eager perennials that must have finally hit their leap year because they seem to have multiplied.
- Patchy grass in need of a trim.
- A sadly chipped and slightly beat up screen porch. Sigh.
- A row of clay pots upside down and in a line alongside that screen porch.
- An odd pile of vintage metal junk that I had assembled sometime around Christmas by my front door. It might have looked somewhat quaint covered in drifts of snow but by now was veering a little too close to the hillbilly hoarders look. (Possibly it always was…?)
So I dug in. I pulled some weeds. Lots and lots of weeds. I moved the pots to their summer homes, where they anxiously await their annual bits of color. I assured my screen porch we’ll get things fixed up soon. And then I tackled the pile of metal junk at the front door. The first thing I moved was my red vintage push mower – yet another treasure that is a piece of R-house history.
The mower was in the garage when I moved in. Oh, to know how many years it spent as the primary means of mowing this lawn of mine. R-house was built in the 40s, and this mower is probably just as old, by my guess.
Pretty great, huh?
I had tried to use the mower our first summer here – thinking wouldn’t it be awesome if we could go back to the old days with this simple, earth-friendly mowing solution?! Unfortunately, I could not seem to get more than a few blades of grass trimmed at a time, and those weren’t even adjacent to each other. The only way the mower would work was if I started running at full speed to get the blades moving fast enough, but with all the ruts and valleys in our old backyard, the mower would be catching air one second and jamming into a wall of grass the next. Besides the fact that it left a wildly patchy stripe of lawn behind it, it was whiplash inducing.
So this adorable push mower has been hanging out in R-garage since then, with a bunch of other cool stuff, until it was given a place of honor by my front door for Christmas.
Anyway, today I grabbed the mower and started rolling it through the front yard and around the side of the house to bring it back to the garage. And that’s when I realized – Wait. This thing is…mowing…the lawn… It’s working! What?! I figured there must be something about the front/side lawn that didn’t require quite such herculean force to get through. So I kept pushing. Hey, this is fun! I might not even need to fire up the real lawn mower (which I barely know how to start because R-girl and Pa usually do it)!
So I kept pushing. Soon I was dripping with sweat and out of breath and stopping for water and telling myself, Julie you have a real lawn mower. No need to kill yourself with this dull-bladed old thing.
But it was addicting.
So I kept pushing. And pushing. And stopping for water. And pushing.
Let’s be clear. Although I was not having to run at full speed, my little Star mower was requiring me to be very, very assertive with my pushiness and let’s just say that I was using leg, arm, and back muscles that haven’t been worked since…
Well, anyway the point is.
Now I can barely move.
But my lawn got mowed.
The vintage way. (At least in the front.)
I’m not sure if that counts as organic yard work, but it definitely qualifies as an organic workout.
Excuse me while I hobble to my bed and hopefully am able rise again in the morning.
P.S. Have you seen some of the other goodies that came with R-house?
by julie rybarczyk