I take it as my personal responsibility to entertain the entire neighborhood and any passers-by. And I take the job seriously, mind you.
This morning, I donned my old running shorts (that I used to actually run in but now use to cut the grass in), a ratty all stars tee shirt from 2008 that has a whole in the left armpit, and my Pepto pink Crocs. Oh, and my Auburn hat. And just when you think that the sight described is entertaining enough... well, you just don't know how incredibly entertaining I can be, do you?
The sun was hot, but the beautiful old oak tree in the front yard provided perfect shade on most of the front yard this morning. So much that the experience was almost delightful. Hot, but not too hot. Sweaty, but in the shade. The grass had perked up quite a bit from the two dry weeks we had earlier in the month. Life was good. I thanked God for the oak tree, and I began to think about its history. How it looked sad when we moved in and how after the loss of two trees on our lot, we called in a man I'll refer to as the Tree Whisperer.
The Tree Whisperer was a strange man, in deed. He had a love of trees that might easily cross the line into - well, weird. And he had a price list for services which claimed to save trees that was a wee bit pricey. None the less, we paid for his services which he claimed could help the tree that was clearly in distress because of the way the leaves looked. He deep-root fertilized all the trees on our property as well as the shrubs. I must say, the tree is still alive, but I still can't see any difference in how the leaves look. They just kinda look like leaves to me. But I guess I don't claim to be a Tree Whisperer.
Anywho - paid to have the darn thing fertilized. We deep-root watered it several times (which, according to Tree Whisperer, all trees need this deep watering once a year - whatever). And this past year, Big Daddy Oak was looking a little scary. He had a lot of dead wood in his top, and several tree trimmers left unrequested estimates in our mailbox or on our front door offering their services. We didn't have the money, so we opted for the pray-a-limb-doesn't-strike-a-child-in-the-head method. Between the prayers and the stormy spring we had this year, the tree is looking better than ever. And no small children were harmed in the process.
So, I was cutting the grass and feeling fine this morning. Writing a blog post in my mind about the Big Daddy Oak in the front yard. How it parallels life in so many ways. How God takes care of His creations. And I'm cutting and smiling and waving to all the passers-by.
Oh, look - there's the mail man. I'll give him a special smile and wave so maybe the next time we have a small package come via USPS, he'll bring ALL the mail to the door and not just the little box. It would save a trot to the curb, you know.
My left hand is up, waving a good Southern wave, right hand still on my lawnmower, keeping the pace and making a turn for one of my last swoops up by the street. And then - BOOM! Lawnmower comes to stop, and this weird substance flies out from underneath.............
What in the?????
NEWSPAPER. I ran over the darn newspaper, still rolled and wrapped in plastic. Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.
I had to roll it back down into the yard and turn it on its side to assess the situation. In deed, the newspaper was lodged pretty well underneath the blade.
This could be bad. Really bad. But I knew that no matter what I could always take the blade off to get the newspaper out. But even then, would it crank again, or had I completely ruined the lawn mower for good?
This was truly one of those laugh-out-loud moments for me. One that you just have no other choice than to laugh at yourself. If the lawn mower was truly ruined, I could cry then. But for the time being, I chose to laugh.
Thankfully, I was able to get the paper unwedged without taking the blade off. Even more thankfully, the old Craftsman mower that I have most certainly put through the ringer over the past three years of teaching myself how to cut the grass cranked right back up like nothing had happened. Me and the Craftsman definitely have a good relationship going - I mess up, and he keeps on forgiving. And my relationship with the neighborhood is more like I entertain, and they keep on laughing. Behind my back, I'm sure.