I broke down and mowed the lawn last night. After three weeks all of our neighbors had mowed and our property was starting to “stand out”, so I figured it was time, since I finally had some time to do. Having an acre with a fair amount of trees, it takes about 90 minutes to do a passable job. For the most part, the grass had just turned brown and crunchy, but the weeds were thriving.
I remember driving around when I was younger, usually with my beer buddies, and we would ridicule people we saw spending time preening their lawns. Why waste time on cutting grass when you could be goofing off like us? I kind of understand it now, although it’s still not one of my favorite activities. Our lawn is easily one of the worst on the block. Many of our neighbors have services that come and spray stuff once a month, and occassionally they’ll send a salesman our way, only to be told I’m not interested. One of our neighbors is a soils engineer or something like that, and his lawn could win awards. Another up the street fertilizes his so much that it needs mowed at least twice weekly.
If I’m really ambitious, I might spread some really cheap weed and feed that I got for half price at Ollies….when they have some. Otherwise my solution to making cutting the grass bearable was to hot rod our tractor by swithing around some pullys, adjusting the governor, and running it flat out. We were the talk of the town when we moved in and ripped around the place on our 18 horse power modified that just happened to also cut grass. If I happen to accidentally run over a bush here and there… well it shouldn’t have been planted there in the first place.
Two things now appeal to me about cutting grass. First, you have a tangible result that you can point to and say “I did this.” Unlike a desk job where the in-box is never empty, there is a brief sense of satisfaction to making a lawn look all trimmed and straight and American Dreamish. Second, much like bike riding, it’s mindless. While the scenery is not nearly as interesting, your mind is free to think about whatever you want, including nothing at all. That’s one of the best things about biking, in my book… is that you can use it to clear your head of all your troubles, have arguments with yourself and win, place yourself Walter Mitty-style in the Tour, or whatever. Biking is good for the soul.
In other news, thanks for the responses concerning my saddle sore. I’m stopping in at pharmacies and elsewhere looking for some of the products. For now everything is healed pretty well, but there is always going to be next time, so I had better prepare.
The weirdest thing happened the other night when I was helping out with a baseball practice. I was running bases, coming from third to home, when both of my thighs cramped up. The pain was considerable and really caught me off guard as its never happened before. I can only suppose that it was a combination of not enough hydration, not warming up properly, and my quads being tight from the distance riding. My left thigh loosened up that evening and feels fine, but my right is still a little tight and probably pulled slightly. I took an easy ride around the block last night and it all seems OK, but I might have to take it easy for a week. One thing I might do is start running again, just to use those muscles and balance things with the riding muscles. Fortunately it was nothing serious.
Next week Ave’s baseball team begins their all-star games, so we’ll be travelling at least three nights. This is an important week because the coach is developing his lineup and batting order. I was commiserating with a friend who is a sports writer and how he recalled baseball would end in June so families could take vacations. Oh well – it’s our choice.