Friday, May 04, 2007

Wacker of Weeds

I met my next door neighbor to my left when I got home from work today. She offered me the name and number of their lawn guy (now she offers, I thought). We chatted on our stoops for a few minutes and then I went inside to assemble my weed wacker.

You see, in my lawn care ignorance, I'd let my grass grow way too high before I finally found the reel mower I'd been looking for at Home Depot. A reel mower, if you're unfamiliar, is really only effective when your grass is less than 2 1/2" tall. Mine was well beyond this limit, and growing fast. And I couldn't seem to catch any of the neighborhood lawn-care specialists to get it under control so that the reel mower could take over. Thus the weed wacker purchase.

I never thought I'd be spending my hard-earned money on things like heavy-duty extension cords and 3.4 amp weed wackers. Until Wednesday, that is, when I decided my lawn (by which I mean postage-stamp sized patches of grass in the front and back of my house) was becoming a jungle in the city and took a trip to Sears. There, C.J. so kindly took me through the many weed wacking options and I decided on the low-end Craftsman model. It would get the job done, C.J. told me, well enough that my reel mower could handle the rest. And I could use it to get at those hard-to-reach places, too.

C.J. was right. Tonight, I took weed wacking into my own hands. And in about two hours, I successfully mowed my back yard. It's not as easy as you'd think. Wacking weeds is hard work, despite the motorized parts. My left arm is still partially paralyzed from the strain of directing the wacker. My right hand is cramping from sqeezing the power trigger. And I may not be able to lift my arms or walk tomorrow because my shoulders and lower back feeling tighter with every passing moment. I'll be picking grass and weed bits from my hair for days, but I'm extremely proud of my accomplishment.

My neighbors were, too.

B & B, a husband and wife that live across the alley, had been sitting on their back porch watching me work myself into paralysis. When I finished, Mrs. B came over to introduce herself and offer me her rake. It was the first neighborly gesture I've received since I moved in. So, after talking for a few moments, I raked the mowed grass into three big piles (yes, I said three piles).

As I was heading down the alley to return the rake, I ran into one of my neighbors from the house on the right. Mr. W introduced himself, and commented on what a great job I'd done with my lawn. I thanked him and we talked for a few minutes about how long he'd lived there and how well I was settling into the house. As we were talking, Mr. B came over to introduce himself. We all talked about the weather and my great mowing job, and then Mr. W climbed into his car to leave. Mr. B took his rake and headed back home, inviting me over any time. We waved to each other as I went inside to eat dinner, leaving the piles of grass for tomorrow.

It's amazing what nice weather and a weed wacker will bring. I'm finally starting to feel a sense of community in my new neighborhood. And I'm feeling pretty bad-ass for having taking on the jungle in my back yard. Next expedition: the front yard.

3 comments:

Betsy said...

Isn't it sad how neighborhoods aren't as open as they once were?

katy said...

you go, Ami!

Wack those weeds.

(If you ever do decide to hire out, Josh is finding his way around a lawn quite nicely these days!)

nejyerf said...

i admit it, i am a poor excuse for a blog buddy!

haven't been here in ages and when i do come by i see that the books have been read and grass and weeds have been wacked.

seriously, when i don't show up for a while, that means i need a kick in the butt and you are more than welcome to do the job!

also, i just read that the author of the kite runner has a new book that is coming out soon. i so enjoyed the kite runner. did you read it?

remind me to keep coming to visit!!

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