"I'm an old Southern woman. We're supposed to put on funny-looking hats, ugly old dresses, and grow vegetables in the dirt. Don't ask me why. I don't make the rules."
Such a perfect movie. Shirley MacLaine is truly class on a stick, is she not?
On Tuesday, the outside world looked perfect. The sun was shining and the air was crisp, and I wanted to do nothing but be a part of it. Unfortuntely, the day's lessons didn't allow for such an adventure, so I planned my afternoon to allow me to be outside.
I called Daddy to see if I could borrow his lawnmower. My grass was looking all kinds of horrible. Normally my next door neighbor cuts it for me while he's out taking care of his, but I decided to pull my weight for that go 'round.
"Daddy, I need the lawnmower."
"Who's cutting the grass, baby?"
"Who you paying to have it done?"
"Oh...who's Granddaddy paying to have it done?"
"No one, Daddy. I'm going to do it."
"Child, I believe you. Or I will once you tell me where we keep the lawnmower."
Folks, therein lied the problem.
After laughing to himself for a bit longer than I liked, Daddy said he would have Will, the guy he pays to cut his grass, get out the mower and make sure that it was working properly.
I took the mower down to my house and got ready for my version of an old Southern woman's day. I put on my big, pink sunhat, threw on a tie-dyed cotton sundress and my Jackie O. styled sunglasses and was ready to work. I know that I was missing the part about "growing things in the dirt" but if you know me, you know that I don't do nature. Grass cutting is as close to dirt as I'm willing to get.
I feel like the actual mowing itself is best described by my Tweets from later that day.
3:01 -- "Peeps of MySmallTown, come snap a picture...I'm about to mow the grass. #firsttimeforeverything"
3:38 -- "You know it's gonna be a good day when the mower starts smoking."
3:58 -- "Dear Town of MySmallTown workers, please quit circling my block to watch me mow. It's creepy. Flattering, but creepy."
4:09 -- "My front yard makes me feel like a NASCAR driver: sharp left-hand turns in a tight oval."
4:39 -- "My yard looks like I gave a 4-year-old a pair of scissors and said, "Have fun!""
4:40 -- "Well, that satisfies my desire to mow for the next decade."
The first tweet is a bit misleading...I have mowed grass before. It was a long-time ago, and I haven't done it in probably seven or eight years, but I have done it.
During the course of my adventure on the mower, there were some mishaps. I didn't have a clue how to turn it on. It started smoking three or four times and consequently I had to take it home to Will to fix seven or eight times (there were other issues that required Will's attention, as well). Every time I pulled up in the yard, I explained -- very animatedly, I might add -- just what was wrong with this old piece of machinery this time, and bless his soul, every time Will said, "I can fix that." Gentlemen, you want a woman? Learn to be able to back up saying things like, "I can fix that." Any girl would love to never have to tell her daddy that she broke his lawn mower.
It probably wouldn't have surprised Daddy if I had to call him and admit the death (or murder, who knows) of Ol' Snapper. This thing is older than me. We have pictures of all three of us kids riding with Daddy on it, grins taking up our faces, so excited to be spending one-on-one time with him. Ol' Snapper was also the closest thing that we had to an ATV, so we were mighty thrilled to be chucking along on the beast.
After I returned Ol' Snapper to his normal resting place, I decided I needed to swing by Granddaddy's house to get a glass-bottle Coke. Granddaddy salvaged an old Coke machine from his days as a hardware store owner and it now sits in his garage, providing the family with America's classic soda and a sweet piece of conversation for any guests we bring over.