Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Gift Of Grass

When my late husband, Buck, set out to install a new lawn for us, he did a fantastic job with the help of our neighbor, Mark, and I. It came up incredibly fast and thick. Buck was so proud and I was so thrilled to see the brown disappearing from our landscape and evolving into a gorgeous green carpet. It was a blessing not to have our property screaming, "New construction", any more.

It appears that Buck's gift of grass, as I like to refer to it, has followed him into his new life. As I planned his grave marker last year, I communicated with the sales representative many times and learned something unique about Buck's grave-site. He was buried next to his dad on a hill in the family plot not far from where he grew up in West Virginia. I remember the ground was mostly moss covered on the day we laid him to rest. However, the sales rep. informed me that Buck's site was different than all the others in the area. It seemed that the grass seed grew extremely well atop his grave and indeed made more work for the groundskeepers, requiring a special trip for maintenance to keep it looking manicured like the surrounding sites. That makes me smile whenever I think of it. You still have the gift of grass, Bofren. How awesome is that? I can picture your playful grin and twinkle in your eye, if you were aware of this fact.

Like all of us who are responsible for yard maintenance, keeping the grass mowed is a chore at the top of our to do lists in the summer. I love to mow my lawn when the lawn tractor and push mower are working properly. It's easy to understand why Buck enjoyed mowing as much as he did. Now, I think about strategy and I probably have approached the job differently each time. How many ways are there to cut an acre? And I thought mowing the grass would be mindless.

Last  summer, my lawn tractor required some work because it had a nasty habit of the belt jumping off every time I engaged the cutting blade for the first time for that mowing. It worked well after having it repaired until late season. I didn't have it in me to bring it to the attention of my repairman because he had fixed it out of the kindness of his heart, only charging me for parts. So when this mowing season began, I knew what I was facing. The Lord helped me to figure out how to get the belt back on, but it was really hard for me as my arms are not strong and it was always a struggle.

Like last year, I would usually have an emotional meltdown or two before getting the belt back in place. If any of my neighbors would have witnessed my breakdowns, they surely would have thought I was dead. Seeing me sprawled out next to the tractor face down in the grass would have been quite the scene, as laying on my belly was the posture that was required to reassemble the belt on the pulleys. This was not drama, but rather frustration at it's finest.

This spring, I asked my friend, Bill, for advice about why my belt would jump off when I first pulled the power take off knob. I couldn't understand why it would stay on after I got it back in place. He recommended that I check to make sure the belt was sitting properly on all the pulleys before I started up the machine. So far, this has been the answer to my belt woes and has made my life so much easier. Thanks for the wise advice, Bill; it has made all the difference!

The push mower had issues too, since I forgot to run it out of gas at the end of the season last year. So this year, I siphoned out the old gas, cleaned out the tank as best I could with a clean rag, washed and oiled the sponge filter atop the carburetor, jiggled the spark plug cap and installed fresh gas. All to no avail. I yanked and yanked on the pull chord and nothing happened. The whole time, the message was drifting through my mind, "There isn't that much to these machines. You can do this".  Then I heard the words that made all the difference: "More gas". "But Lord, I primed it like the directions said on the mower." I heard it again. I obediently pushed in on the little red rubber bulb five times once again. One pull and the noisy machine came roaring to life. It was the sweetest music I had heard all day. I'm so thankful that God walks me through these areas of unfamiliar territory and helps me to deal with the reality of Buck's gift of grass.


  1. Wow - did you know how to do any of this before it was up to you to take care of the lawn? If not, you've learned so much and have been so brave to attempt and overcome these obstacles! I have 3 brothers, I never had to mow. My hubby takes care of our property now. I would be a fish out of water if things were up to me. It's so neat to see how God takes care of you (and us readers) in the details of life. How encouraging. Thank you! You write so beautifully with honesty. I love that mix.

    1. Emily,
      How funny. We were reading each others blog at the same time. Love it! I left a message for you too.

      I have learned most of these things since Buck went home. I didn't even know how to start my lawn tractor let alone re-install a drive belt. The Lord has taught me a lot and has given me people along the way to help when I get stuck.

      Thanks for your kind words. They bless and encourage me! Hope you and your hubby have a wonderful time away! Thanks so much for stopping by when I know you must be very busy getting ready for the weekend. Looking forward to hearing all about it.