Ok, this morning I did something I have sworn I’d never do. I did it as a surprise for Bill. I cut the grass.

                    I read an article yesterday in the ISE newsletter, written by an ISE on assignment in South America. While I couldn’t relate to her comment about having servants (I wish)… I was struck by her comments about learning to never say never. Things that you used to scoff at now you at least have to acknowledge as possibilities. Ok. Fine. I’ll… try…

                    It’s probably my fault that the grass was in such bad shape to begin with. I begged with Bill weeks ago not to buy a lawnmower. I don’t want the few hours we have together on weekends to be spent waiting for him to finish yard work. There are a lot of rules about when you can.. and cannot… fire up the lawnmower and weed trimmer. Not after 7 at night. Not too early on Saturdays. And probably not during the lunch two-hour. Not at all on Sundays. Not at all on holidays.

                    So I said I’d find someone to do the work for us. We’d pay. It would be worth it. Sounds like a great idea. Till I realized I’d have to do it in French. I did check the bulletin boards around town looking for someone looking for summer work. There are lots of crappy looking cars for sale. A few apartments for rent. A couple of babysitters. No lawn services. Not even a kid who’ll drag his dad’s lawnmower up the street for a few euors.

                    A couple of weeks ago, Bill broke down and bought a lawnmower. Then it rained. And rained. And rained. And rained. I started to think that instead of a lawnmower, Bill should have bought the parts to build an arc. Then company arrived. Then we went to Paris.

                    Last night, Bill came home early from work so he could cut the grass. While he was out there, it started to rain (again!). But he stayed out there, cutting the grass in the pouring rain. He finally quit and when the rain quit it was after 7.

                    This morning, I came home from taking Kaitlyn to school and figured that I could get just as good a workout behind the lawnmower as on the treadmill.

                    I probably  did a horrible job. I assumed that mowing the lawn is a lot like vacuuming. I wondered how you’re supposed to know the bag is full of clippings. On the vacuum, there’s a thingie that turns red. I kept staring at the lawnmower then finally realized it wasn’t even collecting the clippings… it was mulching the grass. Oh.

                    I decided that I am not going to be one of those people who cuts the grass so that there are neat lines or checkerboards or any pattern other than completely random in the freshly-cut grass.

                    Then came the hills. I tried to push the lawnmower up… that’s nearly impossible. I tried to drag it up behind me (not running) and that didn’t go anywhere, literally. On the lower part of the yard I tried pushing the lawnmower down the hills… that’s possible but not smart. And because of the rain last night the grass was wet and slippery. A couple of times I fell behind the lawnmower. The first time I held onto the mower. The second time I figured out to at least let go enough for the mower to turn off.

                    The biggest lesson: shoes. I ruined my last pair of keds. They were white this morning. Ok, dirty white but still, white. Now they are grass green. And they don’t sell them here! Doh!

                Oh, and I ran out of gas before I could finish. And I absolutely draw the line at messing around with the little gas can and risking spilling gas all over. I mean, I figured that I could release the safety and turn the mower off before losing a toe, but there’s no safety device on the gas can. So Bill still has to finish the job when he gets home!

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