Sunday, January 25, 2009
PLANT A TREE AND MOW IT DOWN
He wasn't very old when he offered to cut the grass. He did not know we had planted cherry trees on the east side of the house. How would he, they were in the stick stage planted in clay under black dirt. It was an honest error.
But was not an honest error was when I was older and was told to cut the grass. Daddy bought $125 worth of year old evergreens for the farm; the Girl Scouts were to plant them. Holes for said trees were previously dug with an auger attached to the tractor. The landscaping had been done on the drawing board. If all grew, it would be forest on the plains of northern Minnesota.
And so the planting was done and the mowing was to begin. It was an eight hour job to do the area which was fine cut with a mower. My favorite days were when four mowers were running and we would be done before noon. The lawn was to be cut once a week. It became my job. I would mow everything with the reel riding mower except the incline to the east.
And little by little the trees 'in the way' fell. Some dried up and perished for unknown reasons. A kid named FH was hired to finish out the summer while I was at camp; he took down a few too. Mother took over mowing the immediate area around the house probably to save the little trees. We left the farm in the spring of 1960 with the trees on the incline and the ones in the yard still growing. On my last pass in the summer of 2008, some of those Girl Scout trees remained.
Sometimes I wonder why parents don't give kids options. I hated to mow. I do not mow. I never mow--ever. Give me green concrete and rocks but no grass. I do not follow in my mother's footsteps who loved the lawn. Daddy didn't mow in town either.
In my own defense I will say this: I had 25 horses, 1,000 chickens, five pigs, three goats, andteer to feed and water as well as clean the barn and coop and gather eggs. One summer I did all the housework from 9-4 each day as well. I will say now what I said then, "I have enough responsibilities, why can't someone else do it?"
I do believe children should have responsibilities. I just wonder if they should have options. I don't think children should be bridled with things their parents cast off on them.
Besides, there are plenty of evergreens left at the Rockin' R.
And I am grinning because there are 27 classifieds in the paper today for snow removal. I bet there are lawn mowing services in the summer. If my Sweet Thomas wimps out, I will hire it done.