A Division of Labor. A Promise Kept.

Saturday morning. Bird song, many species, ease softly through the window. The body, the bones and the mind at rest. The peace and sanctuary of Saturday morning. Bliss.

Until, it’s not.

For most, the smell of freshly cut grass conjures warm images of youth, of order, of parallel lines, or of a task completed. Or perhaps it’s the smell of rich, black soil, or the solidity of earth under one’s feet. Or perhaps a feeling of rebirth or growth.

For most.

But not for me.

This past, this dipping back into youth, of weekend chores, of hundreds of yards of uncut grass, of an aging push mower, of a hot sun bearing down, of a rush to finish – offers no such relief.

This boy, 50+ years ago, angry…mumbling…promising…someday you won’t need to do this. No sir.

I can hear the preparation two floors below. A quick check on fuel. Three to four presses on the squishy button to prime the carburetor.  A hard pull on the starter cord. A cough, and then two. A second pull, two coughs followed by a few chugs, a puff of black smoke and the two-stroke Honda mower fires up, rotary blades whirling. 100+ db of its piercing scream chasing all birds, and the sanctuary away.

This boy didn’t draw up the solution this way, he hadn’t worked out the details. That’s his wife, two floors below, pushing the mower, filling garbage bags with lawn clippings, hauling them to the side of the house – her brow beaded with sweat, the back of her t-shirt shadowed with more. It’s now her ritual.

The man grabs the open window, pulls it down hard with a snap – dulling the noise, and his conscience.

He turns his back from the window and back to a Netflix film.

I think she actually likes it.

Photo: Chris Campbell


  1. Or maybe you could ask her…😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I mowed lawns throughout my childhood, too, pal. We lived on 2+ acres. My brother and I shared the duties…one mowing, the other trimming. Our house, my grandmother’s, my father’s business, the elderly neighbor’s, my parents’ rental properties. Part of our chores, not up for discussion, get ‘er done. I came to see it as meditation time and felt a sense of pride when everything was complete and looking good. Happy Saturday!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. She probably does… or YOU would be doing it… 😁😎 or paying one in to do it…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Why did you pull the window down hard with a snap?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Relax... says:

    🙂 My mom would tell you to put a dollop of Vaseline inside both sides of the window frame as high up as you can, then pull the (double-hung –maybe it works for the newer kind, too) window up and down a few times ’til it gets greased into smooth sliding. Thank God *we* never had to mow anywhere we lived, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I beat mowing lawns by giving birth to three sons. I soon forgot about the pain of childbirth, and never had to remember about mowing a lawn again. Extreme maybe? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 🙂 >3 >3

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great story! I’ll go for a nap!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Really Mr K? I think you hope she likes doing it …coz she’s certainly not going getting any help from you ha! She can comment on my blog too! 😬

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I bet it was an early Father’s Day gift from her. Happy Father’s Day, David!
    Ps. Don’t take this division of labor for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

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