Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lawn Work

To my son Tommy,

Doing yard work always seems to be a humbling experience for me.  I am not talking about the basics like mowing the lawn, though the front hills can be challenging.  I am talking about all the other tasks that aren't usually done.  

Today I was trimming the box hedges in front of the house and I earned a respect for all those landscapers who make it look so easy and do it so well and so quickly.  Your mother said it looked good and thanked me, but seeing the uneven wave in the hedges and knowing that was not my artistic side showing itself, I think she was just being nice and complimenting the effort more than the result.

I also started trying to reclaim some of the sidewalk that hadn't been edged in what seemed to be centuries judging by the distance the grass had grown over the sidewalk.  It isn't a highly visible area but that is no excuse for the lack of attention.  Armed with my trusted square spade, it felt like I edged a football field worth of edging.  It actually was maybe twenty feet and the heat and humidity soaked my shirt.  Very humbling indeed.

Perhaps that is what this country needs, more people doing their own yard work.  More people being humbled by the extreme heat and getting down and dirty instead of hiring others to do it for us and then even looking down on them.  People always talk about better values of the old days and maybe the loss of some of those values coincide with how may generations we become removed from our rural roots.  This country used to be filled with farmers.  Even people who didn't consider themselves a farmer knew how to grow their own food and work the land.  And they were no doubt humbled by the experience, learning about the value of hard work and self reliance.  As we progressed into a society where maybe one in ten could survive if they had to grow their own year long food supply, we have lost that respect for working hard.  With each generation removed we lose more and more.  I am not suggesting everyone has to go and become Farmer Fanatic and grow everything we eat, but a little time down in the dirt with sweat on the brow might just help re-instill some of that respect for a job well done...or in my case a good sporting attempt with lots of effort no matter how wavy the hedge line seems or how little work I actually did.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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