Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Sunday, June 10, 2007

"Danny, I'm having a party this weekend. How would you like to come over and mow my lawn?" - Judge Smails, Caddyshack

The Boy, wrapped up in work. And whining.

Living in Houston is a bit like living in a science experiment, but not the “doctor keeping his wife’s brain alive in a jar” 1950’s version. More like the science experiment that you had in kindergarten where you planted a seed in a cup and, ta-da, some six days after your Sugar Puff™ addled mind had forgotten that you’d even planted something, your teacher would hand you the cup with something green growing out of it and tell you that you’d made that, and she was so proud of you. Then you’d take it home, and your dog would eat it.

In most places I’ve lived, you had to fuss and fret to even keep a lawn alive. Here, it’s different. You plant something, it grows. You don’t plant something, something fluffy with a seed-pod attached to it will waft down from the heavens and the next morning a massive plant 40’ in height, drizzling a sap made of acid is living in the eensiest crack in your driveway. If you’re lucky, all the plant wants to do is eat you. If you’re lucky.

If you’re unlucky, the plant will be from the IRS and ask probing questions about your deductions, such as why did you think that beer was deductible? Nobody likes having their deductions probed, especially not from cranky IRS plants that spit acid sap.

Anyhow . . . we do have a lawn, and it seems like our lawn abuts approximately 43 miles of concrete. I’ve noticed recently that the concrete part of the yard seems to be . . . shrinking. Actually, it was the lawn growing, getting ready to claim my garage door for the Glory of King Louis XIV of France.

I had previously (two houses ago) combated my acquisitive lawn through the use of a hand edger. This hideous device consists of a half-moon shaped blade, drenched in sweat. It didn’t come out of the box drenched in sweat, you had to supply your own. Actually, it didn’t come in a box, just off the rack at Home Despot®.

It takes about a minute a foot to edge with this contraption, and the final result, well, isn’t all that great. I did some quick math, and 43 miles times 5280’/mile equals finishing sometime near the time to start edging again. While at Home Despot© this weekend, I told The Mrs. I wanted to buy an edger. Since The Mrs. seems predisposed to allowing me to purchase extraordinarily dangerous tools, I waited for approval. An ever so slight nod indicated that the edger could come to play.

I unpacked it when I got home and put it together. It consists of a blade that rotates nearly at the speed of light, attached to a stick and some wheels. It reminded me of a circular saw, but for the lawn. I was good with that. The box says it was “2 in 1”, but I’m not sure what the other thing that it could be used for is. Perhaps it was designed for Civil War reenactors to practice amputations with. Dunno.

The Boy and I, slathered in sunscreen, went out to edge lawn. The Boy got there after I’d done the first mile or so. I told The Boy to gather up a broom to sweep off the huge clods of sod that had been living on the concrete. Pretty soon The Boy was sweeping them up, and using an old snow shovel (inventive, he) as a makeshift dustpan.

After about ten minutes, The Boy wandered over up to me.

“Let’s finish this tomorrow.” He was already red in the face and sweating under the unrelenting Texas sun.


“Let’s take a break.”

“Okay. Get a soda. And get me a beer.” (Actually, it was an O’Douls, which, while a neighbor of beer, well The Mrs. refers to it as “water with calories”)

We sat in the shade, The Boy sipping on a soda, me sipping on my near-beer.

“When do we rotate from work to play?”

We switched back from rest to work and, about an hour later, the Black and Decker™ Edge Hog®, The Boy, and I had finished edging the lawn. Looked nice. I helped The Boy sweep up the last of the grass from the edging work. The Boy looked at his work, and seemed to be satisfied that he’d got the job done, and done well. I agreed. The Boy was released from work to play.

I asked, “Did you have fun doing this?”

“Yeah,” he said, smiling.

The IRS plant pods must have taken his brain. I hope he doesn’t start asking about my 1040 form next.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When my son was just a little guy he would help me with the lawn. I used a manual reel lawnmower. He would walk next to me with his little chubby hand on the handle. What should have taken only about thirty minutes took over an hour, but what an hour.

12:08 AM  
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2:35 PM  

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