Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday Afternoon Mish Mosh

This cartoon kind of summarizes what I feel like when it's time to cut the grass. An activity that I have no great love for.

When I was a young'un, my Dad felt that we boys should have a stake in the family estate. What better way than to have us mow the lawn when we were of an age to do so. So, being the oldest, I got to experience lawn mowing first amongst the three brothers.

Apparently my two younger brothers were also cleverer than Yours Truly. I do recall being saddled with the lawn mowing chore up through high school. I'm sure they had chores as well. I don't recall as I was too busy cutting grass. In the hot sun. On the nearly vertical slopes of a yard in Vermont.

I also had a summer job of being a grass-cutter-for-hire. Really I only had one client, a school teacher. But her yard was, and I only exaggerate perhaps a bit, the size of Montana. No shade to be seen whatsoever. I use to wonder if it was possible for her house to actually be on the Equator, while being geographically located in southern Vermont. I swear the sun was always directly overhead on her property.

But the money kept me in comic books, ice cream and sodas back in the day. Well, the grass cutting and the paper route.

Yes, the Old AF Sarge used to be in the journalistic trade. Every morning, save Sunday, I would be up at the butt-crack of dawn and head out to bring the news of the world to my very select clientele. Well, select as in they could afford the ten cents a day for the news of the world (as interpreted in Rutland, VT). Ten cents? Yeah, those days are long gone!

My worst experience while delivering papers was doing so in the dead of winter. One day when I got up, the temperature was hovering around 20 below zero. Fortunately there was no wind chill. But it was still bloody cold!

I bundled up as only a Northerner knows how and ventured out into the Arctic hell that was southern Vermont back in the 1960's. By the time I was trudging back up the hill to the family domicile I realized that I couldn't really feel my legs anymore. It felt like I had two columns of ice underneath me and that somehow my brain was able to command these ice columns to drive me on-wards.

I made it home and promptly headed for the kitchen, always the warmest room in a Northern home, there to thaw out. Before heading upstairs to get ready for school. Whilst doing so, my mother announced that, according to the radio, school was cancelled for that day. Really, why is school cancelled, I queried my Mother. Seems that the temperature had dropped to 40 below zero while I was out making my rounds.

My Mom commented that it was good that I had not gotten frost-bit. Yeah Mom. Certainly that would have sucked. It was also a good thing that I had kept moving while outside. Perhaps the big story in my newspaper would have been the finding of a frozen paperboy that spring.

Local Boy Found Frozen in Snow Drift!
Had Been Missing Since February

I'm sitting here shivering remembering that day. And the outside temperature is hovering around 90!

So right now I'm kind of sitting here, waiting for the outside to cool off a bit. So I can cut the grass. Wonderful. Stuff just keeps growing. You'd think someone would invent a type of grass that would grow to a precise 3 inches long and then stay there. Just think of the fuel savings! But of course, the whole lawn mower and weed whacker trade would be devastated. Actions and equal-and-opposite-reactions I guess.

That's all I've got today. I will be picking up the next installment in Ma Vie Militaire shortly. Just don't have it sorted out in the old noggin yet. Soon my friends, very soon. (Yeah, like everyone is breathlessly anticipating that. My tale is certainly not one of derring-do and action. But hey, I started down that path, so I 'spect I'd best continue at some point.)

Stay thirsty my friends...

8 comments:

  1. I was the Senior Lawn Mower Pilot in my family, too. Vermont ain't got NUTHIN' on DeeSee when it comes to heat and humidity, lemmee tell ya. Things got better when the Ol' Man retired and we moved to Kally-forhn-ee-ya, but not much.

    I never did deliver papers in the snow, though. Ya got me there. ;-)

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    1. Heh, heh, Senior Lawn Mower Pilot. I like that. Ouch, I can't imagine cutting grass in the DC area, awfully hot and humid down that way.

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    2. my mother lives on cooper st now....steep, steeper & steepest.....ihad paper route as well, spfld reporter weekly, weighed about 50 lbs each, many weeks i could only take 1/2 papers then go back home for balance...all for 3 1/2 cents each, thought i was in high cotton!then it went daily in mid sixties, early am instead of wed afternoon, ...made me the man i am, for whatever that's worth hahaha

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    3. Greg - I kinda recall that you had "been there, done that". Your Mom's in my old neighborhood now? Cool. My oldest kid brother still lives on the family "estate", having bought if from my parents a couple of years back. That lawn looks smaller now, but looks six times steeper than I remember!

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    4. really love your stories...fun reading about those 'good old days'......sometimes i dont know the acronym you use so i make up words to fit..lack of military background i guess....anyway keep at it!

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    5. Greg - yeah the acronym thing. Definitely a habit from my military days and as a defense contractor I still use lots of acronyms. I really should spell things out from time to time. Hey, if you come up with some good made up words for my acronyms, let us all know. I'm sure they would be a hoot!

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  2. Being the girl in the house, mowing lawns was never expected of me. Now...weeding was. And clipping the grass close to the gardens and walkways. Yeah - good times.

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    1. Although I vowed never to treat my daughters any differently from the way I treated my son while they were growing up, I did tend to cut the daughters a lot of slack. But on the other hand, as much as I disliked cutting the grass when I was young, my kids never mowed the lawn growing up. Which reminds me of a funny story regarding the Nuke. One day out in the yard, after moving into the current mansion, the Missus, the WSO and myself were outside putting in all the gardens. Much digging, lifting of rocks, moving of dirt and mulch took place. Outside comes the Nuke, who is told in no uncertain terms by her Mom that she WILL immediately begin assisting the rest of the clan in our terra-forming activities. She starts to pitch in and then abruptly stops, gasps in horror and squeals, "But I'm wearing the wrong shoes!" She then dashes into the house and remains there until sundown. Needless to say, the Nuke hates this story. Also, needless to say, the WSO and I, whenever the Nuke is confronted with a task she does not like, will squeal (in unison) "But I'm wearing the wrong shoes!"

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)