My wife and I recently purchased our first house and moved in back in January. Now that spring is finally here, yard work has begun in earnest. Prior to owning this home, I had never done yard work in my life. When I was growing up, the yard was the purview of my father, who would occasionally allow us entry into his domain to play football or soccer or Ninja Turtles, so long as we did not throw its pristine state into disarray. I don’t recall my dad ever complaining about yard work, which leads me to believe that he actually enjoyed it. This hypothesis is further supported by the fact that I was never once asked to mow the lawn when I entered my teenage years, a duty most of my friends’ parents were all too happy to burden their children with when they reached the appropriate age.
When I grew up and left home to start life on my own with my wife, life conspired to place us in habitats that either had no yards or the yard work was taken care of for us. We lived in two apartment complexes and one condominium in the ten years prior to now, and not once in that entire time did I ever have to deal with yard work. As the title says, thirty-two years was a good run.
But that streak has now come to an end. Now that we are homeowners, it has fallen to us to tame the wild vegetation that grows upon our land. Toward that end, I purchased a small electric mower and an electric string trimmer. I chose these options for a couple of reasons:
- They are both zero emissions appliances. I like to help out with the environment where I can, and the fact that these are both pure electric with no emissions were great selling points to me. Yes, there is inevitably the environmental impact of generating the electricity itself, but that is more or less a sunk environmental cost.
- My yard is small enough that a single 100′ extension cord will let me mow/trim the entire property. I can plug the cord in a single outlet in the back and do the entire back yard and the same with the front. Sure, it’s sometimes a little annoying having to move the cord out of the way occasionally, but I think this is a small price to pay for not having to remember to go to the gas station to get fuel for a gas-powered mower. I also don’t have to worry about charging a battery-powered mower and replacing said battery when it inevitably dies. I can see the two pieces of equipment I’ve bought lasting for a very long time.
I’ve only had to mow/trim the lawn a few times since we’ve moved, but already I can see why my dad didn’t pass this chore on to me. It is, indeed, work, but there is something very satisfying about sitting down on my deck, cold beer in hand, and surveying the fruits of my labor once I have finished. Living in the modern age we do, I no longer have to till the earth for my food, but when I have finished molding and sculpting the yard around my home, I feel like I am tapping into some small portion of what my ancestors must have felt when they harvested their crops. We have taken the soil and bent it to our will and made it ours. And so, for now, I will savor these moments while they are fresh. I hope they never grow stale.