Whew! I'm tired. I have to tell you, I don't like it particularly when someone reminds me of my age. I like it even less when my own body reminds me of my advanced age. I write this on Saturday night, before Father's Day; and I've just been reminded by myself of my age. Like I said, I'm tired.
The tiredness results from a bit more than usual exercise. I cut the grass today. I seem to cut the grass every Saturday. It harkens by to my father. He insisted the grass be cut on Saturday. That way the yard looked good when people viewed it as they were participating in their Sunday drive. Back then, in the last century, families went for a Sunday drive. I never saw anyone drive past our house because we were on our own family Sunday drive.
So, I cut the grass Saturday like I did back then. Folks don't take Sunday drives anymore, but my yard will look good if the custom comes back. And then I cut my hospitalized neighbor's yard.
I got to thinking about that grass cutting as I remembered my Dad this past weekend. Considering the grass I had to cut to receive my allowance, I was well below minimum wage even before there was a minimum wage. You see, Dad wasn't content with me cutting the grass at our house. There were other places that needed my talent. Back then, there were the neighborhood garden clubs. I'm not sure exactly what the purpose of the garden clubs was, but one of them was maintaining a little patch of ground on the right-of-way to the entrance to our subdivision. Dad told them I'd be glad to cut it.
I was pretty good at it, I guess. I attracted the attention of some folks in the neighborhood who did have kids they could pay a paltry wage to cut the grass. Some of them asked me if I'd cut their grass also. I agreed, for five dollars a yard. There was no negotiation. I cut the grass; I did not trim; I did not rake, anything beyond simple cutting of the lawn was extra. Over the years my I cut a lot of grass because by my senior year of high school I was cutting twenty yards. I remember it fondly: twenty yards at five dollars a yard came to a hundred dollars a week. Not bad for a kid, and much more than my daddy paid.
Today, every time one of those lawn maintenance trucks goes by I wonder if I made a mistake going to college and seminary.
There was that one time when I cut someone's grass for free. Daddy mentioned that Mrs. Hardicourt, an old maid who lived a block up the street, was in the hospital. He said she would be coming home on Monday. After cutting the garden club's project, I headed to her house and mowed her lawn. I was quite pleased with myself. A good deed had been done.
Monday evening Mrs. Hardicourt called. She told me she heard I had cut her grass. I told her it was my pleasure. She then told me that a lawn wasn't properly taken care of unless the weeds in the flowerbeds pulled up. She told me whenever I cut her grass I needed to weed the gardens.
I told her the next time I cut her grass I would.