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The Official Unofficial Start of Summer

Happy Memorial Day Everyone! The folks at Fort Hunter Free Library hope you are enjoying a safe and happy holiday.

Another writer of our blog recently commented that coming up with an idea for a blog post was the hardest thing about writing a blog post. I completely agree! She said she might get ideas from Facebook or YouTube. I usually can count on my Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Calendar or I go outside and mow my lawn. I love to mow and do a lot of thinking out there. So yesterday, when I was trying to come up with something to write about (while on the lawn mower of course), I decided I would write about lawn mowing! Since Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and nothing says summer like the smell of a freshly mown lawn - why not?

I’m not sure where my lawn mowing enjoyment originated. It could’ve started on my grandparent’s farm. I would ride on the hay wagon while my uncles baled and loaded hay (and I quickly became scarce when it was time to put it in the hay barn). Or maybe it’s some weird genetic thing I got from my Dad. He loved to mow too. When he got sick a number of years ago, I took over mowing his lawn as well as ours. Well, my husband and I didn’t actually have a lawn yet – we were building a house in a field. So, technically, I mowed our weeds. Then my in-laws went on a trip for a month and I offered to mow their lawn too. It was heavenly!

I was spending so much time mowing lawns, I jokingly made up business cards. I called my business “A Kick In The Grass Lawn Service”. And because I was still only mowing weeds at our house, the business motto was “We treat each blade of grass as if we had our own.” The difference between a hobby and a job, though, is that once it’s a job – it’s not as much fun. So, I kept mowing just as a hobby and handed out my business cards only to people who knew better than to ever take me seriously.

One of the things I wonder about while I’m on the mower is – how do dandelions manage come up again overnight? And they come up as those fuzzy top things – not as flowers. I just know I cut them all off but there they are again, happy as clams, the next day. And this year, we seem to have a lot of those little toads hopping around in the grass. I always try to avoid them which makes for an interesting pattern in the lawn. I mow past a bunch of bird houses, too. I notice that the tree swallows are very skittish when I go by but the bluebirds seem pretty friendly. The robin is REALLY mad at me now that she has four babies in the nest. She takes social distancing to a whole new level. And, I found out that orioles have very discriminating tastes. They turned up their beaks up at the cheapo grape jelly I put out but buzzed through a $7 jar of Bonne Maman Wild Raspberry Preserves in 2 days. Now that's my kind of bird! Very soon, though, all the nests will be empty, the birds at the feeders more scarce and we’ll be into full blown summer - the official one that is.

I'm fairly certain I’ll always enjoy mowing the lawn, but with all that is going on in the world outside of my little 2 acres of lawn, it’s especially wonderful. I don’t have to wear a mask or think about where I'll find Clorox Wipes when I’m bombing around on my old Wheelhorse tractor. It’s also a time for me to reflect on all those little things I am very thankful for – the grass, the toads, the birds and, yes, even the dandelions.

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