My Happy Place

There's a scene in Dumb and Dumber where the main character, Lloyd, is about to have an unsavory encounter with an old nemesis in a gas station bathroom and he begins chanting to himself, "Find a happy place.  Find a happy place." 

Some days, to be completely honest, I find myself thinking these same words.

This is my happy place.

It's my backyard.  With tall grass.  Give me a mower and someone to watch the kids and I will mow until I can mow no mo'.  I do my best thinking while I'm mowing.  It's a good, boring, repetitive task that requires no amount of concentration and so my racing mind just ready, set, goes for the duration.  I don't know why I enjoy it so much.  I guess it's fulfilling.  Like when your carpet is visibly dirty, then you vacuum it and it's suddenly 100% better.  I like being able to see my path of progress as I mow each row.  I like being able to see how much is left and watch it dwindle as I go back and forth, back and forth.  I really like that I can get a little suntan while I'm doing it. 

Shortly after we moved to this house in 2006, my father-in-law gifted us an old riding mower.  It was so unbelievably appreciated.  We lived on a quarter of an acre at our old home which was easily mowed with a pushmower.  Our new yard was more than double that, and while I pushed it for a few months, a riding mower was a small glimpse of heaven.  It worked well for a few years.  Then, over time, just as all machines do, it started to wear out.  And I got weary of trying to make it work.  Here's a little run-down of how it would go when I'd try to mow the grass:

1.  Open shed.
2.  Notice back tire is flat (again).  Walk to garage to retrieve air compressor.
3.  Inflate back tire.
4.  (Unsuccessfully) Attempt to start mower.
5.  Push mower to driveway to jumpstart with the van.
6.  Mow for 5 minutes before a child retrieves you from backyard for an "emergency" like "I need some milk." 
7.  Go inside to tend to said "emergency" only to return to a dead-again mower.
8.  Go back to Step 4.

Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather pull out the pushmower and get something accomplished than spend 45 minutes trying to get the riding mower to start.  So that's what I did.  Even when it was really hot and I was really pregnant and being seen behind a pushmower cutting grass should probably have been embarrassing.  Mowing is just my thing.

Last summer, we decided it was high time we fix up our fixer-upper and so Sam did a pretty extensive overhaul on the old girl (if hand-me-down riding lawnmowers are, in fact, girls - whatever).  New blades, new fluids, a new tire, new belts.  Everything was taken off and re-installed.  I cranked that baby up like she was good as new and mowed through a 42" path of grass like butter.  About 5 rows into it, oil sprayed onto my leg, a giant plume of black smoke emerged from the engine, and the whole thing cut off.

It didn't look or sound good.  And it wasn't.

May she rest in peace.  (Or, indefinitely at the back of our yard behind our shed.  Because, what do you do with a riding mower when you don't have a truck to haul it away with?)

In case you're wondering why I've written this long of a post about mowing the lawn...here's the pay dirt.

I got this new girl today.

Because my husband loves me.  And he wants me to use my time efficiently.  Now I get to think on the mower, then I'll have time to come inside and type it all up in the form of a blog post.  Wait, sorry Sam.  Probably didn't see that coming did you?

I'm just grateful for spring, a big yard full of tall grass (or "grass" as the case may be), kids to play in it, and a way to mow it. 

My happy place.

Happy Spring!!!

Where do you do your best thinking?  (Coming in a close second for me is the shower.)


Sharon said...

OK, that is the coolest thing - I want one. I don't think it even matters that I have not one blade of grass anywhere near my mountain home. My hubby has thought about buying me a sno-cat, but there was hardly any snow this year. Maybe an ATV???

I harbor a deep need for speed.

May you and yours have a truly blessed Easter!!

Debbie said...

I love this whole post. It might be one of my favorite posts you have ever writtne, and I do not know why. I just like the flow of it.

I will say this: Mowing the lawn is not where I do my thinking. That would be because I have mowed the lawn exactly one time in my life. Maybe I would feel differently if I had a riding mower. We do not.

My thinking spot is most definitely the shower. Coming in second would be the car,

Full confession: I have always wanted an actual "thinking spot" but have yet to discover one inside or outside around here. My feet and mind both wander .

Debbie said...

That's written. Not writtne. What am I? French?

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