Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Lawns I Have Mowed

Mowing the lawn: it’s a man’s job, isn’t it? OK! Before y’all jump down my neck about “isms” and such, don’t. Please, just don’t. That’s all I can say.


  • NOT the birthplace. That was Dad’s job, and then the chore may or may have not been passed along to a brother. I do know that it was my job to trim the edges by hand. No biggie.
  • First home I bought with The Cowboy. I mowed. We had a next-best-thing to antique gas-powered mower that thankfully had a drive so that I didn’t have to push the brute. We had a half-acre to keep. Where was hubby? Good question.
  • Second home I bought with The Cowboy was a 50-acre hobby farm. Of course most of it was in pasture, but still. The task to caring for the lawn fell to moi. Hubby? Question answered: playing cowboy.
  • Third (and last) home with The Cowboy. Again, c’est moi. But this time it was a manageable yard – it took about 30 minutes with a rotary mower powered by elbow grease. Or I suppose I should say ankle grease. I hired a neighbourhood kid once or twice. Not because I couldn’t find the time, but because I resented the job.
  • Fourth lawn was in London. It was set on a little postage stamp of a lot and easy-peasy to mow. No problem. I was living on my own at this point.
  • Fifth home, living with The Performer. Unfortunately, performance did not extend to yard work. Or any other domestic labours, as it turned out.
  • Of the several yards that The One and I maintained, we shared the chore while we were together. The One was incredibly industrious. Pathologically industrious. Which is all the more mystifying because when it came to the upkeep of the one-acre hobby farm while we waited for the sale of the house to close, he claimed that it was too emotionally difficult to return to the scene. Boo hoo.
  • Current home. The house sits on a 100 x 200 meter expanse of lawn. The Rebound felt it necessary to buy a riding mower. After we split, I sold the mower to my friend who has five acres to maintain. I continued to mow by a gas-powered unit that had rear-wheel drive. It’s mostly uphill around here. Both ways. It’s true!!

This brings us up to date and to me, sitting here at my computer waiting for the sun to move behind the trees so that I can mow the lawn in the late-afternoon shade. But only the rear. I refuse, childishly, to mow the entire lawn.

I think I have some issues.

... pout

… pout

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Pouty Picture Source

Categories: Personal Growth


42 replies

  1. I can so relate to this – pout and all.
    We have very little lawn … but I really resent having to cut it. The problem is – I hate seeing the yard unkempt more than I hate yardwork. So when the weather gets warm, I spend hours every week pulling, trimming and cutting … because it matters to me and not to hubbie.


  2. Ack. I am not a man and I wish it were a man’s job, my childhood weekends were spend mowing the Midwestern lawn BY MYSELF. I can’t say it gave me as great a story as yours though, nice homage to sod, or was it grass? You know it matters.


    • I really must get over myself. Reiner truly is a great fellow as regards taking care of all of the mechanics of a home. He’s just not that keen on mowing the grass. And, as I’ve said, I have “issues”. So, yeah, it get’s pretty long and lanky around here before we haul out the mower.

      Forgive me: sod/grass/lawn – is there a difference?


      • Certainly in the U.S. – sod is generally preferable amongst lawn snobs and one must even wait at Home Depot at the crack of dawn on the west coast for trucks to pull up at 6 a.m. and dispense it. If I go the rest of my life without conducting lawn care I just may die happily. Good luck to you and your “issues” – I do not know you at all but my hunch is you will resolve them,


  3. Growing up i had to mow the lawn with a reel mower. My Dad use to say if I had a brother he would have to help cook dinner. I actually preferred mowing the lawn to cooking dinner. None of my ex’s were into yard work, except the one that grew pot : ) Now I co-own a landscape company with current husband and he gets the crew to mow our lawn. So to keep it fair, I hired a house keeper!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. the one and only time I mowed a lawn, I was about 8 months pregnant and I could do it, dammit! But I forgot to close the windows on the old house and the yard was mostly dirt patches with sporadic weeds. Needless to say, I walked into the kitchen and bedroom with just enough of a thin layer of dirt on everything to make me want to scream. But oh, I’m pregnant. Honey, I mowed the yard; how about you clean up the house? What a memory. Thanks for this, Maggie. Made me chuckle, as do most of your posts. 🙂


  5. When I was about 13, I begged my father to let me mow the lawn. I caught the blade on one of paving stones that ran across the middle and he yelled at me. I stopped mowing and I haven’t done it since.

    I think I too have issues.


  6. I know I will sound freakish but I love mowing lawns. I have a push mower that is quiet and lightweight. I love the smell of the cut grass and the chance to just get outside and think. When I was a girl my dad wouldn’t let me cut the grass. That job was reserved for my brothers. Instead I got stuck inside doing dishes everynight and feeling great resentment over the division of labour. When I bought my first house and cut my first lawn I remember wishing my dad could see me. hahaha


    • Hi Debra. I’m really glad that you wrote. I love your story, and you get a virtual fist bump from me. I would have been upset with imbalance in chores assignments in your house, too.

      As I was mowing tonight (front AND back! Yay me!) I had a good hard think (just like you mentioned) and I scolded myself for pouting. It is exercise and goodness knows I can use it. Plus it is NOT a cramp on my otherwise wide open schedule. I just have to let go of some old BS pouty-pants habits.

      I wish that I could get by with a push mower, but that’s just not in the cards. The yard is big – it takes me an hour and a half to mow with the power unit. And that’s with the center portion being allowed to grow wild. Bit by bit I am encouraging ground cover to take over the lawn – lily of the valley, violets, and there’s my oregano plot, too. In a few years, I hope to have only the front yard to tend to.


      • omg Those are some of my favourite plants. That will be be a gorgeous combination. The push mower is a bit of work — especially after the 537th twig gets caught. I only cut one section at a time because when it is 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity I begin to look a little less than fresh. hahahaha

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Funny, I love to mow. But only in the spring. On relatively cool days. When it is perfectly dry. And I’m in a good mood.
    And there’s very cold beer for when I finish.


  8. Boy, am I impressed! Mowing lawns? That’s what sons are for. Or, if lacking sons, ivy all over everything but the walkway to the door. 🙂


  9. Up hill, both ways? I love your direct and adorable descriptions…. I’ve never heard of a gas- fired lawnmower. My Italian ex called the lawn mower a lawn mover, and my present husband didn’t correct him when he went into the shop and asked for one! (all those years ago when we were at art school)


  10. I haven’t dropped by your post for the longest time but this morning while having coffee, I thought I’d have a peek at what was happening your way. “GRASS” you say….I am surprised that I haven’t turned into a blade of grass from all the years I have mowed the green stuff. As an eleven year old girl, my task during the summer was to mow the stuff every Saturday or in between if it was necessary. This was also my sunbathing/tanning time. After my indoor “ironing chores” I would put on my one piece bathing suit and head outside and mow two acres of grass/weeds/sand all with a heavy push lawn mower constructed of metal (not fiberglass) which was not self-propelled (there was no such thing as self-propelled in those days). I loved it. Once the mowing was completed I’d head off to the lake.

    By the way, we still have your riding lawn tractor…the man of the house uses it to cut the municipality’s grass beside the road. It is accommodating to own a “his and her” tractor and two push lawn mowers… gets the job done!!

    Once the dew is off the grass this a.m., I will be on my machine Vroom, vroom!!


    • Hey Miss Missy! Very glad that you stopped by to comment. How ironic is that, eh? That you read a post on a subject matter that I know is near and dear! I wasn’t sure if my old riding mower was the “his” or the “hers”. Now I know!

      I will raise a glass of something toward the west during happy hour!



  11. I have never mowed anything. My dad said it was a man’s job, even though my mother swears she always enjoyed mowing. I don’t think it’s a man’s job, but it sure is The Mister’s job. While we were in Georgia, we had such a small yard, it could be done with a weed eater. When we moved here, 1.3 acres! Ack! He does the back 40 one day and the front and sides the next. He’s behind, often. Too busy. Last month, I paid a guy to mow the back 40, which is when I learned mowing can be lucrative.

    All I can say is that over time, I will plant more and more edibles and flowers, and there will be less for him to mow.


    • “mowing can be lucrative”

      thanks for confirming what I was afraid to ask.

      A couple of neighbourhood kids – 11, maybe 12? were by a few weeks ago… they had their patter down, enthusiastic, charming… offered to mow the lawn, noting how it was rather untidy looking, didn’t I think? I was smitten by the pair and asked for their contact “deets” and am holding onto to the card just in case. Like, for when hubby leaves for three weeks to go north and I’m it for yard maintenance. Or when the mower dies. Lately it is making a hell of a racket. Probably because MY mister thought it prudent to clear a path through the forest floor. Rocks and branches notwithstanding.

      Not often you get to use the word “notwithstanding” is it?

      I’m following your example: have already put into place Operation Reclamation. Good thing neighbour south likes goldenrod.


      • Well, it’s almost an acre back there, and it was thick and wet from the joys of Spring, so yeah, lotsa shiny pennies for him. During deployments, I’d pay a neighbor kid $10 to do my tiny yard, but now, with this huge yard, I really can’t afford to do that regularly.
        I don’t know why your mister decided to mow a forest floor…what was that about, I wonder?
        Won’t we have lovely gardens, and much more spare time, Maggie? lol
        Notwithstanding…hmm, can’t tell you when last I used it.


        • “much more spare time” that’s irony, right? 😉

          We have several invasive species in our yard including garlic mustard and Japanese bamboo. Both are incredibly aggressive. The garlic mustard actually merits the designation “noxious” on the municipality’s hit list. He was trying to tame the growth along the footpath and figured the mower would be easier than using a machete.


  12. I never liked mowing the lawn, particularly because it involved acres of mowing, even if it was on a riding mower. However, I started to mind it less after I got an MP3 player so that I could listen to music while mowing to make the time go faster.


    • Hi Noah. Thanks for commenting. Glad you were able to find a strategy that helped to cope with the drudgery. I can’t explain it, but I cannot tolerate earbuds or headsets or tunes so close to my eardrums. So, yeah, I go tuneless. 😉


  13. Just absolutely wonderful!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hint taken… I’ll be in the yard :\



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