A Mundane Task or a Walk with Nature?

For years, I did as little yard work as possible. I’d help bag leaves, which I think is a really dumb thing to do, but I digress. I used my asthma and allergies as my reason for dodging it, but they are a poor excuse, I was just being lazy.

This summer, I accidentally started a lawn mowing business in Matfield. I know, you’re thinking how does one accidentally start a business? Well, my neighbor asked me if I’d consider mowing her yard for her this year. I told her I would. Another neighbor asked, again I said yes. A third neighbor asked, another yes from me.

I’m on my feet ten hours a day, welding and lifting and moving heavy steel, wearing jeans, a long sleeve shirt and work boots. Sweating through my clothes before six in the morning. Why I even want to mow my own yard is something of a mystery to me, let alone taking on 3 more yards. Add to that, the fact that I push mow and that 3 of the yards are very large, you can really start to question my sanity.

I have had a seemingly endless poison ivy rash, if you’ve ever been afflicted with this special little bit of dermatitis, you know how awful the itch can be. It’s been on the tops of my feet, around my ankles and on my arms. I dealt with using a combination of hydro-cortisone cream, which worked ok. Witch Hazel dried it up faster, but the real miracle was using Apple Cider Vinegar on it! Now, the exception to these three remedies was the morning I woke up with a VERY itchy neck and a lip that “felt a little funny.” One thing I will not put up with is Poison Ivy on or near my face. Within 2 hours of waking up with these symptoms and I was sitting on a paper clad table at minute clinic in Wichita, explaining how I could really use a does of prednisone!

Despite this, I find it to be strangely cathartic and more of a mingling with nature than I would have expected. I’ve seen an amazing number of grasshoppers and grasshopper like insects. So many frogs, southern leopard frogs, gray tree frogs and holarctic tree frogs. A tiny ring neck snake and a not so tiny, nearly 6 foot long, black snake. Praying Mantis in large numbers, too. Oh and spiders! Lots of spiders, though, I mostly just walk face first into the stringers holding the webs up and don’t have much interaction with the spiders themselves. I did see a wolf spider hustling across a yard with an egg sack in tow and several very large and very pretty garden spiders. Today, I saw a large number of bright blue, very small dragonflies.

I almost wish I had taken more of an interest in yard work sooner. I’m very thankful that I am doing it now, I truly enjoy the exercise and the discoveries that come with each lawn mowing session.

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