in which I mow the lawn

My house has a front lawn. And by lawn, I mean a combination of grass from what was once a probably “normal” lawn, wild weedy fiscuey type grass, plantain, dandelions and a crap load of those clovers with yellow flowers that get those round sticker-bur things.


The surrounding houses also have lawns, and while not Pleasentville perfect, they look pretty good. They are kept to a respectable lawn length and clearly mowed. We’ve been here about 2 weeks, and the whole “mowing” concept was never considered. Until Matt and I were standing in the driveway and looking around and said “we should really mow the lawn”.


Our neighborhood is not an HOA (1 of the 3 requirements I had while house hunting). There are no requirements on what the front has to look like. But since we had just moved in, and I didn’t want people to think “geeze, these new people are lazy hippies- look at their lawn!” I agreed. After all, it was mid-shin length.


So Matt dug an old push mower out of his grandma’s garage, and we brought it home. It hadn’t been used in a long time, and squeaked horribly. As we were pushing it to the garage, a neighbor came out and said “you are welcome to borrow my mower”. As we were mid-explaning the push one would be OK, her husband came out and said “do you want to borrow our mower?”. We once again proclaimed we were fine. They both looked doubtful.

lawn, pre-mow

Since we didn’t have any w-d 40, I used olive oil in my Misto. Totally sufficient! Now I have never mowed anything in my life, let alone using an ancient push mower, but holy shit balls, it was a pain in the ass!  I’m attributing part of the challenge to the fact my lawn isn’t all grass, but also because the mower isn’t sharp and its old.


The pictorial image I had in my head of casually walking amongst the grass was shot away 15 seconds into the process. To use a push mower, you need to have speed. Mowing at a run would have been more productive, except whenever it hit a clump of weeds (frequently), it would jam, stop rolling, and leaving me jolting into the push bar (not fun). This resulted in having to come at a section from multiple angles, and covering the same surface many times. I had to take many breaks.


About half way though, I was sweating buckets, super hot and my arms hurt. I thought “what the hell, let people think poorly of us, who needs a mowed lawn!” But you can’t stop mowing half way though, that looks even worse! And by god, I’m now a home owner and I have to mow this damn lawn! A different elderly neighbor came out and said “looks like your doing a good job!”. While I don’t know if he was being sarcastic or actually impressed I was using a push mower, I felt proud that I was performing an apparently lost form of mowing. So I persevered.


When I finally finished, the lawn was shorter. Patchy and still weedy, but shorter.

Mission accomplished. Next project: learn to use a scythe to tackle the back yard.


2 thoughts on “in which I mow the lawn

  1. It gets easier when the lawn isn’t so long. She says from bitter experience… I use a line trimmer to mow my lawn, which is on a slope and therefore impossible to use a conventional mower on. Perhaps that might be the thing for your back yard!

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