Wednesday, November 19, 2008

That early morning sound of yard work

It's 7 in the morning and the cool chill coming through the bedroom door feels great. Snuggled under the down comforter, it's a typical morning until the hum begins. First it's the chatter of workers, then the sound of the mower starter. Yep, it's Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday, etc., and the yard work begins. Gone are the days when dads would wake up on Saturday morning and do yard work. Next comes the other guy with an edger and then the dreaded blower. All are gas-powered of course, none good for the environment, but it's always been that way. Prior to my electric mower that my sis-in-law donated to me, I had the gas gobbling, fuel burning front throw mower and the gas edger (now electric through a donation from my dad).

My point is this: Where are all the dads doing yard work? Am I the only one? Am I just a throwback? My hunch is that the dads of guys my age didn't teach their sons to do yard work or wash their cars or change their own oil, or even clean out their rain gutters! Now I am not saying I am some masculine macho man, but the lessons I learned from my dad regarding hard work and yard work and all that, have stuck with me. While some dads claim it's too much, they are wussies and for those who say it takes time away from being with their families or kids: whatever!

So the buzz of mowing and edging break out in full force down my street, and I get annoyed. Why do they start at 7:15am? Why do they use gas? Isn't that outlawed? I have the same reactions every day, every week, all the time. It's predictable.

When I get out there with my mower, blower and edger (all electric, mind you) I get blank stares from the workers, from people driving by and others. "What's he doing?" is what I assume they are thinking. "Mommy, is that a rake?" says the little girl (maybe).

Edging the lawn is a fine art. I remember my dad showing me the finer tips of the "art" of getting a straight line. At the time, it was annoying, but today I attempt to apply those same rules and methods. "Mow this way, this week, then mow that way next week." Whatever dad. Now I do the same thing. These lessons I learned are being passed to my 10-year-old and soon to the 4-year-old.

So I am the only one on my street. A rebel, outcast, revolutionary(?), maverick. No not a maverick, I hate that word... been exploited too much. I get a great sense of enjoyment and pride from manicuring my yard, adjusting the sprinklers, replacing PVC pipe, swapping our sprinkler valves and trimming trees. Getting the hands dirty, having finger nails full of mud and dirty shoes all excites me. Me caveman? Naw. Throwback? Maybe. Satisfied? Yep.