Life lessons about lawn mowers

This is the story of a mamma (that’s me) who always dreamed of having backyard for her kid (that’s B.J) to play in pretty much since the day her darling angel was born. Being a city girl most of my life, I’ve always lived in apartments, even after I had B.J, because they were cheaper than houses. That was all okay, that’s how city people live right, and I had never considered that we might actually need a yard for anything.

Well at some point I started to feel really bad for B.J because she always had to play inside or on the balcony (where I had constructed a DIY bamboo fence so she was safe). The only times she got to play outside were when we took a walk to the park, or I allowed her to ride her bike on the neighbourhood footpaths for a few minutes, always freaking out that she would get hit by a car pulling out of their drive-way. So when I decided to move our life to the country, I was super excited about the prospect of being able to afford to live in a house, and I had all these dreams about the wonderful backyard we would have.

When we did get the house we had dreamed of, I think we were excited for about the time it took us to unpack, pretty much because we too distracted by getting things in order to take notice of anything else. The house itself, we actually dubbed the “spider house”. I don’t even know how, but every morning when I opened the front door, spiders had spun webs all across the front verandah, and they always found their way into the house as well …eek!

The spiders were the least of my problems though, the Better Homes and Gardens style backyard I had been dreaming of was actually all hills, rocks and trees planted in weird spots. It was completely useless, the only thing we could do was look at it, and to make matters worse, the only tool I had to keep the lawn in check was one of those cute little hand push mowers. Have you ever tried to mow with one of those things? I’m pretty sure I only got a 1/4 of the backyard done in an entire afternoon. It was totally the wrong tool for the job, comical for my neighbours to watch though and extremely frustrating for me.

A few days later, the kid next door knocked on my door and offered to mow the lawn for me with his dads brand spanking new lawn mower. Well I’m not stupid, of course I said yes, and I paid him for his trouble.  I actually had tears when I saw how much easier it was to mow that darn lawn with a proper mower, and went and sold my hand push mower on Gumtree the very next day for $15. If you ask me, I think I got the better end of that deal.

What happened after that you ask? Well we gave up the dream of a backyard and moved into a town house with gardens that a hired gardener takes care of, because that stupid “spider house” helped me to figure two things. One, that backyards are not all they’re cracked up to be, and two, I’m not really the “lawn mowing and gardening” kinda gal. Not all of us can be you know, but if you are….the moral of the story is, you need the right tools to get the job done the right way. I’m pretty sure this applies to all things in life, but especially when it comes to keeping your lawn neat and tidy.

Have you had any horrible “backyard maintenance” experiences? I’d love to hear about them!

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