Mixsonian Larry

Mowing the Yard
My Brother is on to me.

The Old House
The Old House and Yard

  Growing up in Florida, mowing the yard was one of those necessary chores but also a rite of passage, one from childhood to, well being more than just a child.   Grass grows and thus lawns must be mowed, but in Florida, grass was something else for it grew, and grew and then grew some more.  You, growing up in more northern states might had on occasion mow the yard, perhaps a month or two in summer, but in Florida, the land of sunshine, you had to mow the yard year around.  In “winter” you might miss a week, or even two if you got a frost, but the grass still grew.   As a child I would see my father get the lawn mower out, put some gas in it, pull the cord, and if it was a good week, the mower would start.  I was fascinated watching him push the mower around the yard, changing it from something wild to something neat and trimmed.   Something in the logical, organized, methodological side of me thought, “that is really neat, I want to do that” but I was to young.  Then on one of those summer days, as dad is about to start the lawn mower, he turns to me and says, “do you want to try it”.  WOW! Of course! That would be so cool, I would get to mow the yard.   Dad explained the basics, around and around, watch your feet so they you don’t run over them, overlap a bit so you get it all.  He started the mower, handed me the handle, and off I went.    

There is much more to this story here, but I now jump forward to the present time..... 

The Yard
My new house and yard

So now I once again I am living in Florida, the land of year around grass that must be mowed but yet I find myself liking the mowing of the yard which is strange for I started loving it, then hating it vowing never to mow a lawn again, to finding it now soothing, relaxing.   My dad and brother came over this week for my weekly “make dinner for the guys” night and my neighbor was mowing his yard.  We all, Dad, my brother and I commented on how inefficient he was and my brother went into a discussion on which was best, back and forth, up and down, or as my favorite, around and around in every inward spiraling squares like some Escher painting.    I think it was then I begin to hatch my devious plot….     

My brother seemed really interested, connected to us reminiscing about mowing the yard, perhaps I could “suggest” to him he might want to come over and help me with mowing my.  I would tell him how I now found it, soothing, relaxing, connecting.  I dwelled on the thought a few this pas week and the plot developed.  I actually thought, I could be like Tom Sawyer, convincing his friends they wanted to paint the fence, or in this case, mowing the yard.  So tonight, just before I got the mower out, (electric by the way), I called my brother, he didn’t answer so I left a message, suggesting he might want to come over to do part of it, he might actually enjoy it.      

I put the phone in my pocket and proceeded to mow the yard.  After I was done and put the mower away, I saw my brother called so I called him back.  I explained I just finished but thought he might want to help the next time. Well he was on to me, he says “this reminds him of Tom Sawyer”.      

Even something every day as mowing the yard is deeply rooted to my past, my father, my brother, to the earth beneath my feet as I walk upon it….. mowing the yard.

Larry Mixson, 05-07-2019