The Mystery of the Freshly Mowed Lawn

We live in a neighborhood in which people take pride in their lawns, which is obviously not the worst thing in the world.  We could live in a dump.

Our neighbor across the street is out on his lawnmower every 4 days, double mowing his lawn so it has those fancy criss-cross lines in it.  We compliment his lawn.  He says “I’m just putzin’.”  Well.  If that’s putzing… We’re assholes.

Our neighbors to the north have a bagger and mow trails into a part of their 5 acres so that their 5 children (all boys – our new favorite entertainment… more on them later) can ride their 4-wheelers and dirt bikes along the paths.  

Our neighbors to the south have beautiful landscaping with no weeds and so many pretty shrubs and flowers.  Their son is the one we’ve contracted to mow our lawn for the summer.

And then there’s us.  New homeowners.  Moved into our house at the end of last summer with no thoughts of a lawnmower or weed-wacker, let alone a bagger.  (I should say that I didn’t think about a lawnmower – my logical husband did.)  We have a ton of landscaping that weeds seem to love, a huge garden that we are have no idea what to do with, and a lawn that grows faster than you can even SAY lawnmower.  We are the assholes that have a huge beautiful lawn without the means NOR the knowledge to take care of it.

Last week, Peter and I were both traveling for work, him in Houston, me in Canada.  We were both gone for only 3 days, so we didn’t even have anyone pick up our mail.  On Friday when we got home from work, I told Peter that he should ask our contracted lawnmower to mow the lawn.  He said ok.

On Saturday, we were gone all morning and for the first part of the afternoon.  As we were pulling up our road around 3, Peter said, “Hey, I think our lawn was mowed!”  Great news!  And then we drove closer.  I said, “Hey, I think our neighbor weed-wacked around the landscape!”  What a fantastic day!

And then we pulled up our driveway.

Sara: … I don’t think Neighbor Kid did this.  The lawn is cut… diagonally.

Peter:  Oh my God.  Did Neighbor Across The Street mow our lawn?

When we got into the house, I looked out back.  There weren’t any lawn cuttings in our lawn. And it was DEFINITELY mowed diagonally.  I went back out to the garage.

Sara:  Umm, Pete?  I don’t think Neighbor Kid did this…


Sara: How are we going to find out who mowed our lawn?  This is SO embarrassing.

Pete: I’m not sure if someone did this because they’re nice and they think we’re nice, or if it’s a passive aggressive sign to get our shit together and keep our lawn mowed.

Sara:  I’m SOOOOO embarrassed.

So then we stood on our patio and stared at our freshly mowed lawn a little bit longer.  And then we started laughing because we were so embarrassed and in disbelief that our lawn was not only mowed, but also bagged.  

A little bit later, our neighbors to the south were outside, so we went over to their house.  Separating our yards is a mini creek, and it rained quite a bit at the end of last week, so the creek was basically a raging river.  

What the creek actually looks like:

We were talking to our neighbors and Peter had the brilliant idea of hopping across the river to see their garden.  I was like ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh now I’M going to have to hop across this river, and I have the grace of a newborn calf.  So, Peter jumped.  And obviously made it just fine.

So then I jumped.
This is what I was hoping I would look like:

Of course that’s not what happened.

I jumped.
I slipped.
I fell.
Into the creek.
And was soaking wet from the waist down.
But I prevailed, and admired their garden boxes while swatting mosquitoes that were obviously quite attracted to my wet clothes.  And legs.  And feet.  (I’m itchy.)
While we were chatting, we asked (hoped) if their son mowed our lawn.  
Neighbors: No… We actually saw Neighbor Across The Street zip over with his huge lawn mower and started mowing.
*Sara and Peter’s jaws drop*
Neighbors: And then, Neighbor To The North came over with his lawnmower and started bagging the cut grass.
*Sara and Peter put their hands to their faces*
Neighbors: And then, Neighbor Across The Street said he thought you guys were going to be away for work for 2 weeks, so he thought he’d help you out.  So then Neighbor To The North thought he would help too.
We. Were. HORRIFIED.  Good LORD.  So our faces were all red and we were laughing embarrassingly saying how embarrassed we were and my WORD are we assholes.
When we got back home from our neighbor’s house, we sat and stared at each other.
Sara: I feel juvenile.  And that we’re DEFINITELY in WAY over our heads.
Peter: I feel like the football team beat me up and now the teachers feel bad for me.
So on Sunday morning I made a big ol’ batch of peanut butter cookies.  Before I got the chance to bring them over to our neighbors to the north, the wife and 2nd oldest came over and knocked on our door.  
Neighbor: Are you ready to plant your vegetable garden?  I’ve got extra tomatoes and peppers, and also a bunch of flowers and shrubs.  I’ll just bring them on over and put them in the sandbox.
Sara: YEP!  We’re ready!  After we go to town and buy seeds!  We are SO ready.
(Sometimes over-confidence is a sign of ‘oh shit I didn’t know we were actually going to do this’.)
Neighbor: Alright!  I’ll go get them!
I brought them the cookies after they helped us out even MORE and we feel like HORRIBLE neighbors AND PEOPLE because we are SO incapable/stupid.  Seriously.  
The good news is that they mowed down the really tall grass that was separating our lawns, and they told us that they did it because they like us, so now BOTH of our lawns look good and we can be friends.  So THAT is a GREAT sign.  
Here are some pics of our lawn, landscape, and vegetable garden that is staked out and will be planted tomorrow, weather permitting.  
Peter roto-tilling the garden.


Roto-tilling again – I want you to appreciate the size of this massive garden.
Freshly mowed lawn.  I was standing in the kitchen when I took this picture.  It’s huge.


Landscape in the back that is WEED FREE.


Landscape in the front that is NOT weed free.


When I see our house straight-on, I get a little less annoyed about all of the grass and weeds and huge vegetable garden.  Because I really do love this house.
So now we have a money saving jar that we’re putting our change into to save for a lawnmower so we don’t look like schmucks anymore.
Donations are welcome.

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