Monday, August 2, 2010

A Girl's Best Friend

A while back, the husband bought a lawn tractor. I was vociferously against the purchase, pointing out that marching behind the mower was pretty much the only exercise he ever got, but he was not to be dissuaded and soon enough, a John Deere was parked in the garage next to the Rx-7. At the time, I had asked to learn how to drive the thing, and was told  I would not enjoy the experience.

A little more than a year ago, it became pretty clear that there would be no more mowing for my husband. The junior son and I were going to be taught the art of the tractor by the master. The kid learned in 10 seconds. I didn't.

My first mows were tentative and uneven. I think I cried as much as I mowed. Eventually the satisfaction of seeing a tidy lawn coupled with aroma of new mown grass had me its clutches. I was actually enjoying this.

I knew, however, I was in serious trouble on a very snowy day when, as I was brushing the snow off the other machine I could now operate with ease, I caught sight of the tractor waiting patiently for spring, I said aloud, “I wonder when I should start tuning up the tractor?”

Yes, gentle readers, it's true. I am a tractor addict. I worry that if it doesn’t stop raining I won’t be able to mow. I am scrupulous about grass height..never too short, or the grass will burn in this heat. Too long and the lawn looks unkempt. Line up your wheels, and stay as straight as possible. And if you’re real lucky, it looks like a baseball outfield when you’re done.

Heaven is the tractor purring like a lion cub, me at the wheel, a symphony on the iPod and the noise cancelling headphones over the ear buds. I am transported to another world where, even if just for a little while, I float above it all.  

Ultimately, there is art in the precision of all those lines, not unlike the sand patterns made in Buddhist gardens. There is a beginning and there is an ending; it’s all very tidy. So few things in life are ever really like that, and I’m at a point where precision, beginnings, and endings are all desirable traits. Order amidst the chaos is a good thing.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for Jackson Pollack.

Tip o’ the Week: 
If you live on a pond, always leave a natural buffer zone 
between your lawn and the edge of the water.


  1. Lovely post ... and very Minnesotan
    ( lawn tractor ) , too !

  2. Did you know that the state fair has a lawn tractor pull contest? I found it by accident a few years ago. Now you can polish up your mechanical skills too, by enhancing its performance to compete.

  3. acutally, I'm thinkin' about signing up for lawn tractor debry.