Some mornings overwhelm me, I will make no bones about it.  Often life can deal me a hand that I simply do not want to play, but I take a turn anyway.  Early morning is a special time of the day, but it can also be empty and meaningless, much too often this applies in my life.

Take mowing for example, there are days that I just do not feel like mowing, but you have to do it, it is required of you, the grass grows, you are dedicated to keeping it looking good.  This is one of your jobs in life, a chore that you have to do from time to time, and there is no escape.

But from time to time, life offers up a mystery or a time of joy, and I guess in the end, that what makes it all worth it?  Saturday was like that.

My wife is Chinese, her name is Yoko, she is an indoor person, basically “a stay inside type of girl.”  Her Mama is Chinese, her daddy was Japanese, she has a third cousin who is Korean, but they do not talk about him much.  This is why she has a Japanese surname.  She is a great girl and we have been together for a long time.  She doesn’t like the great outdoors, she isn’t into National Parks and the serenity and beauty of nature.  She is basically a kitchen table, I am just fine, go away and leave me alone kind of girl.

So I was a little taken aback this past weekend, when she walked out of the front door of the house in a long sleeve shirt, ball-cap, and gloves in her hands.  She looked at me and announced rather unceremoniously  … “I am going to mow the yard!”

This was a new one for me, let me tell you.

She has never, I repeat NEVER even remotely offered to mow the yard or ride the lawn tractor for that matter in all the time we have lived here.  So I thought to myself, “this I got to see.”  So I went to the barn, fetched the trusty lawn tractor and gave her a quick lesson on how things work.  She confidently climbs on board and takes off.  No more telephone calls ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!  (or at least at the time I thought so)

The woman is mowing, I cannot believe it.  I in turn pickup the gasoline powered weed-eater and head down the fence line.  She takes off in one direction and I go the opposite way.  Having learned a long time ago, “a wise man never wakes his second sleeping baby just to see it smile” I know it is best to leave her to her amusements.  Everything goes well, that is for awhile, and then I notice something strange.

I stop what I am doing and I intently listen to the sound of the tractor.

In the distance, over in the far corner of the property, I notice that the lawn tractor is running just swell, but the mowing blades are not engaged.  She is riding around, but she is not mowing.  This has happened because she has somewhere, stopped, backed up and then went on about her business.  When you back the lawn tractor up, it automatically will disengage the blades (safety measure) and this has happened.

My wife the indoor lady on the other hand, is blissfully unaware of this fact of lawn mowing safety and is just whizzing around the yard, making lazy little circles under a crystal clear blue Oklahoma sky.  Bumping along, the Purple Martins close by to retrieve any stray bug she might stir up.  She rides by and smiles, I cannot believe what I am seeing.  I see my wife making laps in the yard, nothing is getting mowed as the blades are not turning, she is just making laps.  This amuses me for a short while, no it really does, I find some humor in it, but then the reality of $3.78 per gallon gasoline comes home to me and I realize this has to stop.

So I flag her down and I say to her, “Honey, how is it going?” and she smiles a big smile.

Handing her a small ice cold bottle of water (this was my alleged excuse to stop her) I ask her, “do you notice anything different in the cut?  Is the tractor running a little different to you, notice the sound of it?” and she says, “Well, yes, yes I do.  How come?”  So as tactfully as I can, I say to her, “You might want to try this?”  I reach down and pull out the PTO (power take off) knob and the blades kick in and the tractor goes back into “mowing” mode.

She gets this strange look on her face, says to me, “I was wondering why when I looked back, it didn’t look like I had mowed a thing!”

There is an old saying …. “Life is … everything that happens when you are not paying attention.”  After an ocean of time, she still has the ability to make me smile, and in the end, in the final count, that is all that really matters.

But really … I don’t know … “At four bucks a gallon, maybe it is best, she just stay inside” you know what I mean?


Lawn Mowing Sucks

"MAKE AN OFFER"Can you say “Lawn Mowing sucks” on the Internet? I guess you can, it is after all “my blog.”

A couple of days ago, I was just lying there in bed, minding my own business, staring up at the ceiling. I do that a lot in the morning, watch the numbers roll on the clock, listen to the ceiling fan rhythms, early in the morning.

And I was thinking about the possibility of painting my front lawn green, the money, time and energy I could save, by having a totally artificial painted green lawn. Using the best weather-beater Latex that Sear’s has to offer, I would either roll it on or paint it on.

A lawn that I did not have to water or pamper, or spend time with. Something like the relationship we have with our children.

Now it is time to go on record about something. Los Angeles and Seattle, who recently instituted a policy of using goats and sheep to take care of yard work, have the right idea. Let the animals eat the stuff, and save the planet, I am all for it.

Except for that lipstick part, that I find kind of revolting.

Having lived at this location for a good portion of my life, and figuring that I mowed the front and back lawns “one time per week” (a conservative average I would venture) I have mowed, trimmed, bagged, sacked and completed this chore approximately 1,768 times (twice that counting the backyard). So I am laying there and I am thinking about this.

Then SHE rolls over and touches me. Man I hate it when SHE does that. It always starts the cycle, y’know, that “thing that leads to problems” right after the alarm clock goes off.

You see, men and women are often different in the morning. The man wakes up grouchy and aroused in the morning. Believe it or not, we can actually do both at the same time. Rare fact of nature, part of the male species. We just cannot help ourselves.

We just wake up and we want you and if you don’t want us, well, we are just mad about it.

And the women are thinking, “how can he want me the way I look in the morning?” It’s because we cannot see you. We have no blood anywhere, near our optic nerve at that time of the morning. Trust me, scientific fact of life, no really.

So I get up out of my bed, not because it is no longer warm, not because it is uncomfortable, but because I know that it is too heavy to carry on my back all day long, and I have to separate from it some time. I walk to the scales and I weigh myself, “I am my perfect weight if I was seven feet tall.” It is gonna be a swell day.

Good morning hon, she smiles THAT smile at me. Coffee, two sugars, no conversation.

Walking outside with my cup of fresh coffee, I spy my neighbor who is standing in his yard too. “Gonna rain today Don” and he smiles back at me. I pick up the paper and reply, “Yeah, just my luck, wouldn’t you know it? I just painted my lawn yesterday.”