Strange Brouhaha

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yard Work

Mad Kane's Limerick and Haiku prompt this week is about yards and/or gardens.

As I look back at my life, I'm shocked to realize that I've never lived in a place with a yard. At least, not a place that I remember--our house in New Jersey had a yard, but none of the places we lived in Hawaii did, and none of the places I've lived in in Wisconsin have. The closest we came was that our last apartment had a nice, shady, green common area--but that's not really the same thing.

And as for gardens...pfff, forget it, my thumbs are as black as the cover of "Smell The Glove."

When I was growing up, as my grandparents were getting older and grandpa was less able, it would fall to my dad to do a lot of the yard work. Sometimes, I would help.

In a lot of ways, my grandpa was a big 'ol Luddite. There are times when I think I've inherited that from him; I'm very much an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" kind of guy. If you've been doing something one way for a long might as well continue doing it that way, even long after better ways are available. (This is the same attitude that makes it possible to earn a living today as a COBOL programmer.)

I spent my weekends
Up at my grandfather's house
Pushing the mower.

And when I say "pushing," I do mean pushing. Grandpa had a push-mower. Every so often he would have to take it to get the blades sharpened. I swear he must have used that thing for fifty years, and in a lot of ways, it made perfect sense: the yard wasn't really all that big, and the push-mower was nice and quiet. Why ruin a peaceful, sunny morning with a big noisy racket?

I think maybe if I did have a yard, I'd consider a push-mower. No gas to buy, no small-engine maintenance--just an unhurried afternoon pushing the mower along the back forty. Whatever a back forty is.


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