The final mow …

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Photo by Diane Luftig.

Earlier this evening I mowed my lawn for the final time before our move to California.

This made me inexplicably sad.

We’ve lived in our house for 11 years, which means I’ve probably mowed the grass, oh, 150 times. Over the course of that span, I’ve …

• Ruined three mowers. The first by running over a steel hammock base. The second by, ahem, running over the same steel hammock base.

• Cursed at my mowers a solid 4,543,221 times.

• Hired a lawn guy twice. I was fed up and tired of cursing, so I agreed to have someone else mow the lawn—like most people around here. Then I watched someone else mow and felt like a wuss. So I returned.

• Watched black smoke ooze from my mower once. It wasn’t a good scene. Note to all you beginning mowers: Don’t overdo it on the oil. It’s not a good scene.

The truth is, I mow my own lawn because, as a boy, I watched my father mow our lawn, and I’ve always found something rewarding and admirable in the task. It’s a very immediate gratification—when you start there’s a mess, then you end it’s gone. There’s also something lovely about the smell of grass when it’s immediately sliced. It smells like, well, summer.

Alas, I’m hanging up my mower.

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