May 17, 2021

As I watched the news last weekend one of the lead stories was about a woman who had become irritated while her neighbor was using a leaf blower on her lawn.  Rather than asking her to stop using the blower, she chose to go inside, get her gun, and take a shot at the woman.  While she did not hit the other woman, she was later arrested by the police.  Apparently, it is against the law to shoot a firearm within the city limits.  Especially if you are shooting at another person.  Who would have thought?

I bring this up because I faced my own irritation last week as well.  I had mentioned how I had decided to let the stalks of grain grow along the corner of my pool fence.  I had dreams of letting them ripen and then harvesting the grain and feeding it to my birds.  It seemed like a win-win scenario.  A friend knew the difficulty we were going through and offered to have her person come over and mow our lawn.  I admit, I felt sheepish accepting, but frankly the lawn was nearing the point of out of control.  I also knew the offer was made from a desire to help.  I agreed and she arranged for him to come over on Friday.  Sometimes it is harder to accept help than to offer it. 

When I learned the mower was coming over, I tried to be vigilant to catch them.  I placed a sign on the back fence saying not to cut the grain, but I have personal experience of not paying attention to the needs of the homeowner.  Mowing the yard is mowing the yard, and there are few variations.  I was in my office when I heard the mower fire up.  I went outside as quick as I could and got to the side of the house to see him mulching through the lawn along the back fence.  I started yelling to stop and he did turn around, but it was too late.  He had already mowed half of my grain field.  When I talked with him about my loss, I mentioned it was not all loss.  His lawn work was going to make my blog.

Thoughts:  The grain had grown in the lawn along my fence by no effort of my own (the birds did it).  Still, I was prepared to use this happenstance as a windfall and get a free supply of grain.  It would not have been a lot, but there was at least a peck or more in the heads.  It was my way of repaying the birds and to also give me the experience of hand harvesting (sounded cool as an ethnoarchaeologist).  I looked forward to both.  Much of what we do becomes routine, and we do not think about our actions, we just do them.  That is what happened when the mower cut my lawn.  He did not stop to read the sign.  He did not notice that the “weeds” had grown nearly three feet high and had to have been left for some purpose.  Instead, he just mowed the lawn.  I realize that what I was doing was not normal lawn care, but that did not make it bad.  Many habits of other cultures are different than those we are used to seeing.  When they are also accompanied by foreign words it can make them suspect.  Again, being different does not make it bad.  You may want to talk with people about what they are doing and why.  Who knows, you may want to try it as well.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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