I had always believed that growing up on a farm made me a stronger person. For as long as I can remember, helping with chores after school and on weekends was expected. Summertime meant freedom from school, but it also meant picking rock, helping with livestock, weeding the garden and mowing the lawn.
Our farm is at the end of a long driveway, and we have a sizeable yard with plenty of buildings that are bordered by grass. It is the picture of country living – unless the grass doesn’t get mowed. Then it quickly turns into an unkempt jungle.
Almost every afternoon, one of my family members would be out on the riding lawn mower doing their assigned section of the property for the week.
As we got older, we got a second tractor mower, and once a week I would mow around the hog and cattle barns and up and down the driveway, listening to my walkman and singing along to the Lion King soundtrack.
Over the years, we each spent hours upon hours driving up, down and around the property until we knew where to watch out for twine from the bails, how close we could get to the drop-off on the west of the driveway and where the biggest rocks were.
After a couple hours mowing, I would come back to the house covered in dust and grass clippings, convinced that it was a tough life living on the farm, and anyone who lived in town should be thankful their yards were smaller.
This year I had been putting off mowing the lawn at my place in Worthington. First the weather wasn’t cooperating, and then I discovered the blade had to be replaced.
On Monday afternoon, the weather was finally beautiful, and I decided to take care of the lawn before the grass started to resemble the prairie.
After I finished attaching the new blade, I figured the hardest part was behind me – oh how wrong I was.
Each little hill took all my effort to push the mower up, and I couldn’t help laughing at the scene I was making as I struggle to do what all my neighbors make look so easy.
I thought I had been working hard on the farm when I mowed the lawn, but that is nothing compared to pushing a mower. My yard isn’t big, but when I finally put the mower away again, I was ready to flop in the grass and never move again.
By the end of the summer, I may be willing to trade my little lawn for a bigger one if it would mean getting a riding lawn mower again. Or maybe I’ll get used to it and decide getting a workout while mowing the lawn is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Either way, I have certainly learned that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.