Sunday, September 16, 2007

Welcome to the jungle!

I've never mowed a lawn in my life.

Until today.

But now I can say I've done it. The joy of owning a single-family home instead of a townhouse.

It's funny. I never mowed the lawn growing up, mostly because I was a little kid (physically) and my parents have a tiered lawn on a hill. I think the image of a 90-pound kid trying to haul a mower down narrow rock steps scared my poor mother.

So they paid some landscaping types to mow their lawn, and eventually I think they got them to mow the neighbors' lawn when they neglected it.

(My lawn was starting to look like that, but we'll get back to this point in a moment.)

Anyway, after that, I went off to college (dorm rooms!), then lived in a series of apartments until I was nearly 28, then it was my townhouse in Hillsborough. Yeah, complete with extortive association fee and the subsequent lawn care.

But now, at last Marisa and I are mostly settled in, and had a free day, and that's how we found ourselves on the front lawn this afternoon, sweating and swearing and... eventually having fun!

Plus, our lawn no longer resembles the neighbors' where I kept losing Wiffle balls in the jungle.

Even if I damn near encountered my second-worst nightmare - after running over a member of the family - and just missed a baby bunny sleeping in the tall grass.


It was a rough start - the grass was so tall it kept jamming the blade, and thus killing the motor - but eventually, after trying mulch mode and bag mode, I went with spew-out-the-side mode and got 'er done.

In fact, the more I tried, the easier it got, as I developed something vaguely resembling a technique. I probably did 75% of the lawn in two hours after taking two hours on the first 25%.

(Fair disclosure: We still have to rake up the spewings.)

So even if it doesn't quite resemble the outfield at Yankee Stadium, I won't have to play "Welcome to the Jungle" when guests arrive anymore.

And my reward?

M is making another loaf of her from-scratch sourdough bread! My favorite kind of bread, and she makes delicious loaves by hand. From scratch.

I can't begin to tell you (or her) just how amazed I am by all of that. I mean, I know she can cook good food, and I love everything she makes, but the whole concept of the sourdough starter amazes me. And she made it herself, and she nurtures it, and then she makes delicious bread from it.

It's one thing to aspire to be a little Domestic Goddess in Training, to me it's something even more impressive to take up a project that requires not just skill, but dedication.

I can barely make anything, or stick with anything, but I see that little pot in the fridge and I just adore her even more.

OK, sappy, yes, but come on. After she did some branch-trimming, did a little mowing and walked the dog, she still had time to fill the house with one of the best smells in the world - fresh bread, baking.

That more than makes up for the sore back and aching shoulder.

I think.


Freak Magnet said...

The thought of the two of you putzing around the house, an engaged couple, made me smile. I can't tell you how happy I am for you. Sappy, yes, but absolutely adorable, nonetheless.

Roger in England said...


I went for gravel rather than a lawn.

Why make work for yourself ?


The English Bloke