Mowing Grass


So at the insistence of my daughter I let her help me mow tonight and wow did it bring back a lot of memories. I remember my dad, who is a master of ingenuity when it comes to small engine equipment, taking time to show me  how to mow. First dad showed me the importance of life and the danger of a lawn mower. He was very adamant about keeping my body away from the blade. I know just how nervous he must have been after letting Rachel grab that handle alone (heart sink). Today we at least have the kill handle on push lawn mowers, but in the early 80’s we didn’t have a kill handle so the blade kept turning even if you let go of the handle. In an effort to keep me from slipping or getting my feet near the blade dad had me where my soccer cleats. Again another effort to protect me from what I didn’t see then as something that dangerous. Another thing dad did that I found myself doing last night was outlining an area to mow making it easier for Rachel to maneuver around the yard. I didn’t remember outlining for simplicity until the second area of grass she was going to cut. Outlining an area makes it easier for the newbie so I mowed the edges where you have to push and pull the lawn mower quite a bit. As soon as that happened I was like oh wow this is exactly what dad did when I was little to make it easier. So I would outline the area mowing all the parts super close to the fence, house, air conditioner, wall, etc. and then Rachel would mow the center area. Dad really was making it easier for me to get the work done efficiently. Later when I was a little more proficient at mowing dad would use the weed eater to make the process quick and efficient always making the mowing part easy.  Unbeknownst to me dad was teaching me processes and flow. He was teaching me how to be more efficient and organize processes. Another thing Dad taught me was trial and error. He was never content with cutting the grass one way he wanted to find the fastest most efficient way to mow the grass. Take time to figure out the best way to get job done in the shortest amount of time. You can’t cut corners (ha), but you can find ways to take less steps and always have the blade cutting grass as you move. You never wanted to be moving long distances over grass that was already cut (you would get the dad stare). The stories could go on…like when I got ran over yellow jackets nest and got stung multiple times. Dad used a friends chewing tobacco to sooth the sting. Several times after mowing dad would take me up to the Shell Gas Station on Clemmonsville Rd in his big green truck (extra size tires) and get us a bottle of Pepsi with a pack of peanuts. This is where dad taught me how to pour peanuts into the pepsi can bottle (try it you may like it). Really glad my dad has never been scared of work especially work that will put callouses on your hands and build a little muscle. Unbeknownst to Rachel she is learning a process while building some callouses and muscle. Hopefully will avoid the yellow jackets. I still have to get her by the gas station though. At the end of mowing Rachel says, I’m a natural at that dad. I guess I will let her do one of my favorite things for a few years.

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