May 27, 2022

Last year I wrote about the caretaker for the church property behind us and how he would mow the grounds on Saturdays.  Part of the field he mows is a low-lying area that turns to mud every time it rains.  This did not seem to deter him, and he drove through the mud, gouging huge tracks until he got stuck.  This happened on several occasions and did not seem to improve his learning curve.  He has begun to mow again this year now that the grass is growing but has still not learned to avoid the mud.  Melissa made the comment this week that he had gotten stuck in the mud five of the last six weeks he has mowed.  The only time he did not get stuck was when another man came and mowed for him.  This younger man did not mow the low-lying area of the field. He instead avoided the mud and let the grass grow.  When the caretaker returned this week, he tried to mow this area and again got stuck in the mud.  It would be sad if it was not so funny watching him trying to get out of the mud.

When I looked online, I found the first lawn mower was created in 1830.  This was a manual reel type mower that is still in use today.  Reel mowers are environmentally friendly because they do not require gas, oil, or electricity, and instead rely on someone to push them to spin the blades.  The reels cut the grass like a pair of scissors rather than ripping the grass with blades.  Aside from the physical activity required to push the mower, the blades do not cut as close as other mowers and you may need to mow more often.  You also need to keep the blades sharp by using a sharpening tool every few months.  If you were ever frustrated trying to use dull scissors in preschool, mowing your lawn is no different.  One advantage is you will likely not get caught in the mud, and if you do it is easy to lift the mower out.

Last year the caretaker learned that getting the mower out of the mud was easier when he pulled it out with his truck.  This week he was back to square one, rocking the mower back and forth trying to dislodge it from the mud.  While he did eventually get out, he created a hole in the lawn that was 10 feet (3 m) by 5 feet (1.5 m) and a foot deep (1/3 m).  While I never got the opportunity to ask, I wondered if the church goers thought the giant mud hole in the back of the church looked better than the tall grass.  It rained again this week.  I can hardly wait until he starts to mow.

THOUGHTS: The mowing website I checked said mowing the lawn can be a gratifying and relaxing task when you have the right equipment, and at least gets you “out of doing the dishes.”  When I was growing up my older brother mowed the lawn while my sister did the dishes.  She complained that he only had to mow once a week, while she did seven days of dishes.  My brother offered to trade, and she happily agreed.  All was well until the day came to mow (our lawn was half a square block) and it took her a full morning of pushing the mower.  She never offered to trade again.  Whether it is doing the dishes or getting stuck in the mud, life is filled with trials.  The trick to overcome the trial is to have the right equipment.  A truck will easily pull a mower out of the mud, while rocking only creates a bigger mud hole.  Over the last years we seem to do more rocking about what is not allowed than pulling to get out.  We have the tools, but we need to use them.  Act for all.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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