Grass cutting work part of new fun

Published 2:10 pm Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sometimes you don’t see it coming, and other times you know right when it happens your life is going to change from that point forward.

That happened for me with a text message from my wife back in January and came home to roost this month in the form of that great Southern tradition – cutting one’s own grass.

Whether it’s because I’m soft or, maybe, just smart, I’ve enjoyed the past 12 years of my post-college life avoiding grass cutting thanks to a steady stream of payments to local high school and college kids (guys and girls) over stops in three states.

That came to an end in January when I received that text message from my wife which said, in short, she found a brand new lawnmower for the all-too-good price of $100.

Yes, it was a push lawnmower, and I guess my wife was sick and tired of us paying $40 every week or so during the spring, summer and fall for a “professional” to cut the grass when we could do it for considerably less money.

I was not as thrilled. As the “man” of the house, I assumed the responsibility would largely fall on me to cut the grass. My son could be an option, but at 6 years old, that option is still some time away.

The added caveat of the lawnmower being of the “push” variety only added to my trepidation. While only manning “riding” lawnmowers in college and completely avoiding the task as an adult, my first go at the “push” lawnmower this year would be my first with such a contraption since 1996 or 1997.

My day of reckoning finally came March 7. The grass was too high, and my children deserved to play outside without fear of getting lost in the brush.

As I started my approach on the lawn (yes, after my wife started the contraption for me), I wondered if passing motorists could tell I had no clue what I was doing.

Should I take straight-line approaches or create a large square and cut in on myself? I tried a little bit of everything, even a couple runs onto my neighbor’s lawn when I lost track of my bearings.

It ended up not being bad after all. The lawn was clearly better after then before, and my wife no longer had to hang her head in shame when walking to the mail box.

As for me, I enjoyed the pride of a job (moderately) well done.

Unfortunately, the darn thing needed to be cut again eight days later, and my wife pulled a trick that left me in shame.

She worked a five-hour shift at work, picked up the children from school, cut the grass when she got home, made dinner for the family in the evening and, after all that, packed lunches for everyone (including me) when she was through with dinner.

That amazing performance was four days ago, and now the ball is firmly in my court to cut the grass and do something a little extra to make the family proud.

I’m thinking lawn designs in the grass like sports fans see on baseball fields in college and the pros. Maybe, I can sneak a pro in town one day next week to cut the grass without anyone in the family knowing. It will be even cooler if he pulls off the trick with my brand new, $100 push lawnmower.

Stephen Hemelt is general manager and editor of L’OBSERVATEUR. He can be reached at 985-652-9545 or