By Mike Redmond
The Hendricks County Flyer
Thu Jun 20, 2013, 03:35 PM EDT
We’ve reached another of the year’s milestones — June, the month where mowing the lawn changes from a pleasant springtime chore into an onerous summer task.
Where, I ask, is it written that we are all supposed to live on well-manicured lawns? Who decreed that our yards should look like fairways? Since when did the length and density of bluegrass and fescue become a suitable topic for concern, and the attendant snippy notes, from the neighborhood association?
I mean really: You let your grass get a teensy three or four inches taller than the prescribed 2¼ inch height and they jump all over you like you were harboring fugitives in your crawlspace or making moonshine in the garage. Which is just preposterous. I have a cellar, not a crawlspace.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking over this whole cutting-the-grass business and I’ve decided it is pretty much nonsense.
For one thing, my lawn can hardly be described as grass. What I have is a test plot for every weed known to the central United States. Purdue could bring students here for Noxious Plant Identification Field Trials. If there IS any bluegrass or fescue out there among the dandelions and nettles, I assure you it got there quite by accident.
For another, it’s the sort of job that can only be performed, never completed. As soon as you finish chopping things down to the appropriate height, they start growing again. What’s the point? It’s a fight you can’t win.
Of course, this could probably be a little easier to take if I had a riding mower. I am, after all, a guy. Riding mowers speak to me. They say things about power and efficiency and power and making the other guys jealous and mostly about power.
Problem is, I live in the city on a plot of ground that is roughly the size of your average farm garden, and it’s crowded with things like flower and vegetable beds. I couldn’t get a riding mower turned around in the space I have. I can barely do it with a power mower. Which, I might add, is a step up from what I used to have.
For years I cut my grass with an old-fashioned human-powered push mower, the kind with the reel, the latest thing in Amish lawn mowing innovation. Or so I thought until I was driving through LaGrange County one day and saw an Amish kid walking behind a brand-new Toro. That’s when I decided to upgrade. When the Amish are ahead of you on technology, you know it’s time to step up your game.
(I thought for a fleeing moment about taking the opposite approach and using sheep to keep the grass down, but it quickly occurred to me that it’s bad enough having to scoop up dog poop. No sense piling on, so to speak. And besides, the neighborhood association would have found it to be in exceptionally baaaa-d taste.)
And so I’m stuck with what I have: A scraggly lawn that needs cutting with a power mower I can’t stand so a neighborhood association doesn’t call the cops on me for reducing the property values. And I’ll comply, over and over again this summer, as the weeds continue their plot to take over my plot.
© 2013 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
December 10, 2013
Indiana’s lopsided win in the Old Oaken Bucket game ended yet another disappointing season for those unfortunate enough to call themselves Hoosier Football fans. As a member of that tortured lot, the climactic victory over hapless, one-win Purdue offered little solace.
December 9, 2013
December 7, 2013
When I woke up Saturday morning, I gave a customary online scan of Friday’s sports, mainly for a recap of the Pacers’ home game against Milwaukee.
November 18, 2013
Most people recall where they were upon hearing significant news in their life, whether it was positive or negative. I remember where I was when I heard now-former Butler basketball coach Brad Stevens was going to the Boston Celtics.
November 12, 2013
Having gone to a football school in the heart of basketball country, I was never around soccer in my youth, and thus haven’t been a soccer guy in adulthood.
November 5, 2013
I hate to say it, but I'm afraid we've seen this before.
October 29, 2013
There have been a lot of big games played in Indianapolis, none bigger than the Colts' unforgettable win over New England in the AFC championship seven years ago.
While next Monday's visit from Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos won't eclipse that monumental event, there is no doubt that the city has never and will never experience another night like No. 18's return.
October 17, 2013
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
A Massachusetts firefighter surprised his girlfriend this week by suggesting they dress as Santa and Mrs. Claus for his fire department's annual children's Christmas party, then popped a stunning marriage proposal in full attire.
December 11, 2013
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