Every summer, my grandmother and I would go on our pilgrimage to across the state, paying a visit to every relative in the line. Among the rolling green hills of California?s central valley my uncle and his family had made their home, which is where we would spend most of the summer. My uncle Chris and his wife were master gardeners. Their expansive back yard was the first place I ever saw a real compost bin, and their raised garden beds, with their thick, dark soil hid countless wriggling red worms for my amusement. I also remember the single most fascinating gardening accessory I had ever seen. Uncle Chris? old push mower was nothing but an outdated nuisance to his sons, whose chore it was to cut the lawn, but to me it was an engineering marvel. It?s rotating blades whirred across the grass, sending clippings and the scent of fresh grass flying across the yard. I always got to rake the clippings and deposit them in the composter, but what I really wanted to do was cut the lawn.
As early disciples of the Xeriscape movement, we had no lawn at out house, and I longed to reach the age when I would be considered large enough to operate the push mower. Finally, that summer arrived. I only stood about six inches taller than the mower itself, but I was determined. I got nearly half the lawn mowed before I gave up and conceded the mower to my cousin. To be honest, I have no idea if I ever tried mowing with a push mower again, but to this day, I recall the work-out I got.
This brings me to three months ago, when I had an incredible epiphany. I?m always saying I need to get more exercise. I spend most of my time sitting in traffic, sitting in my cubicle, or sitting on the couch in front of the TV. All my single-girl clothes have made their way to good will and I?ve decided that it?s time to act. We needed to budget, and our gardener just happened to be moving to Texas. What a perfect coincidence. Remembering the push mower, I talked to my husband, and we decided to invest in a reel mower. All the electric mowers were easily three times the cost.
For the last three months, I?ve mowed the front yard and back yard once a week and I?ve been feeling great. I used to have back pain that I blamed on my office chair, but I noticed the other day that it has been gone for the last two months at least. All through college and my busy working life, I was constantly sick. I thought that I was just a sick person, but I?ve been in good health this whole time. At first, it was hard to do one whole lawn, much less front and back, but I split it up through the week, and now I?m a mowing machine! My husband is so impressed with my newfound vigor that he?s threatening to take up mowing as well. We may have to start our own gardening service.