Friday, August 13, 2010

Mowing Gaga's Lawn: A Lesson in Patience, Perseverance, Love, Commitment and Family

Gaga has gotten very finicky about the way her lawn looks. She frets over it something terrible. She hired a guy to mow it and he couldn't do it right. It was either too long, too short, not mowed with a rider, mowed with a rider, not cut enough or cut too often. The guy quit. I can't blame him.

Unfortunately, that left Gaga without a lawn person at all. My aunt went there and mowed one day. It took her about 5 hours to mow, rake and mow again because it had been so long since the guy had mowed. It didn't help that my dad put fertilizer on the lawn in the spring but that is another issue in itself.

I mowed one afternoon after Gaga and I went grocery shopping. It only took a couple of hours. And actually went much faster once I figured out the mower was self propelled. After that Gaga called the guy and asked him to come back. He didn't. And that left her without a mower, again.

I volunteered our services to mow once a week. I couldn't be there exactly when she wanted it done. I wouldn't be there the same day every week and it would usually be in the evening, after it cooled a bit. She said that was great. She bought a self propelled mower. My dad found a trimmer for her. We were set.

Before I go any further, I want to state that I love Gaga with all my heart. She is a wealth of information, fun to go shopping with and always has a gum drop at her disposal. That being said, she is horrible to work for.

The mower is a mulcher. She has a lot of water grass in her yard. It clumps. That is bad. So she decided I needed to put "that box thing" on the back of the mower and pick up the grass. I fought it at first but in the end decided if that would cause her less anxiety I would go ahead and "box" it. She liked that except for all the clippings we had to dispose of.

Then I started coming too late. I would get a phone call on my way home from work asking if I was coming because I was going to run out of daylight. I assured her it would be fine and got down there as soon as I could.

Then we weren't mowing in the right direction. "No one has ever mowed my lawn in that direction." I explained it is good for the lawn to be mowed in different directions. She agreed but said she didn't like it that direction. I don't change directions anymore.

Yesterday, Gaga was really happy. I got off work early, was down there earlier than normal and brought both boys for help. She decided that instead of "boxing" the clipping that she wanted the grass to "shoot" out the side. I read the directions, put the side shoot on and we started. Everything was going great. Then, the neighbor came out.

When I made a sweep on the property line the grass was wet and clumped up. I turned around trying to disperse it. The neighbor was not happy about me shooting the "seed of the crap grass" into his lawn. I apologized, told him I was going to bag it up and would take care of it and explained this was the first time I had used the side shoot and was getting used to it. He didn't care. Off he stormed into the house as I apologized again.

That was about more than I could take. I had been up since 3:30, delivered papers had worked most of the day, rushed home to change (only to forget my mowing shoes), so I could go and mow her lawn before I ran out of daylight...all in 105 degrees with no breeze and high humidity.

We finished up the job, ate an ice cream cone and went home. I am really happy that I can help Gaga out. I like the kids to know that there is always time to help a relative or the elderly. But it's hard to remember that when sweat is pouring off of you while doing a job you know won't be right anyway.

(c) 2008-2010 Wicked Pickles-Homefront Lines

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