Sunday evening, I made peace with the zero turn mower. It may seem strange, but it’s actually a big step. John used to mow. I didn’t even know how to drive the zero turn. He’d tried to show me when I was pregnant with kiddo. My belly was huge and I couldn’t even get through his course of cones that he set up. We’d laughed together and called it a day. I figured maybe sometime after kiddo was born, he’d show me again and I’d be better.
When John was sick the firefighters stepped up and made sure our lawn was mowed. We both appreciated their help.
The following mowing season I was on my own… the offers to help were gone… I’d even asked for help, but been blown off. People have their own lives, gas is expensive and well, John is dead. I guess that is it. Maybe it’s me. I don’t know.
I wasn’t happy. I was frustrated… hurt… alone. But grass doesn’t care if you’re grieving. I contemplated fencing the whole property and turning the horses lose to eat the grass, but knowing my crew I’d have them coming in the front door, standing on the deck or chewing on the siding.
So, I had to learn how to use the zero turn. I hated it. HATED IT!!! At first it was quick and I was clumsy. It was like being given a sports car to drive on your first ride. I don’t know that I hated the piece of equipment- it is a John Deere- can you really hate a John Deere?
I hated me fumbling and driving so jerkily. I hated being covered in dirty, itchy grass. I hated when I got it into grass too deep and stalled it out. I hated the gross cans of gasoline. I hated trying to pour the gas into the lawnmower- each time I was convinced I’d forever pollute my well with the drips that spilled… either that… or end up with a huge fireball when spilled gas exploded when I started it up. I hated that it was boring. I hated the monotony. I hated worrying about kiddo since I couldn’t take him on the tractor and mow with me. I hated how loud it was- I didn’t like to wear the ear plugs because I needed to be able to hear kiddo. I hated when kiddo insisted on riding or when I had to take him on the big loop around the field because I couldn’t leave him while I did it- I was terrified he’d fall off and get mowed over. I hated when the mower wouldn’t start. I hated my incompetence. I hated that the yard looked like crap when I mowed. I just hated every damn thing. I was mad and pissed.
Mowing had been John’s thing. He always loving cleaned off the tractor when he was done and he seemed to enjoy the activity. Just him out there on the tractor… mowing his yard… doing guy things.
Somewhere in the course of hating, I reached a point where I didn’t hate every second I was on the lawnmower.
My hatred turned into a new emotion– I developed a fuck it attitude. Fuck it that I was alone and without help. Fuck it that my property looked like Denace the Menace had been making trails through the grass. Just Fuck it! Mow the damn grass and be done with it.
However, Sunday evening when I mowed, I turned over a new leaf. I just let go. Yeah, it still looks like Denis the Menace had been traipsing through my yard, but that’s okay- and it makes it more fun. I could be practicing reining patterns or dressage tests… If I want to see neatly manicured lawns, I can pick up a magazine or go visit Longwood Gardens… it’s just me and kiddo and an occasional visit from my parents. My place isn’t a showplace and never will be- I’ve accepted that. But it’s home to a happy little boy, two happy dogs, two happy cats, and a some happy horses… the important things… and the grass is mowed… till next week.