It's been raining for almost two weeks here in my part of the world and the grass has been getting deep enough to lose a toddler in it. I don't own a lawn mower — even though my lot is the length of a city block (and since our house is so small, there's a lot to mow).
It's kind of overkill, but I borrow my father-in-law's riding, zero radius, 60" deck, contraption au extraordinaire. It's burly and it gets the job done. Either way, I'm not interested in sitting in the rain to mow the lawn, and everyone's lawn looks like mine right now (except those who mowed on the one non-rainy Sunday…tsk…tsk). But it's a hassle getting the borrowed mower over here…so when the neighbor boy stopped me as I was getting out of the truck yesterday and asked to mow my lawn…I just smiled. I am a sucker for capitalistic ventures [my eBay company is called Capitalism Works] especially by the kids. I always drink their rotten lemonade at garage sales.
At the same time that I love the offer, I don't jump on an offer until I let it process in my brain, so when he offered to do the whole thing for $10, I just took my 3/4 of a second to let that process how great a deal I was getting when he lowered his price to a "well, maybe $5." I was stunned and told him it was a deal. I walked him through the lot and told him not to knock down my sweet-smelling lilacs, my limp and awkward rose bush (which has yet to bloom in the three years I've lived here, or my whatever-it-is bush that should be flowering already but isn't but it looks really awkward because it comes up in the middle of the yard where the garden of the previous owner used to be – but I keep it around because it is definitely worth looking at.
I went inside and told Chrissy that we had a manservant now and that if he didn't break any glass I would gladly pay him $15.
Over the course of time, Zach and his chubby cousin Shawn (actually Shawn was promised $5 for helping, but I don't think he lasted very long) plodded and persevered and push-walked my whole lawn in a record X number of hours for anyone his age and skill level. I came home right after he had finished, and his mom called my cell phone (to make sure I was really me and that I was a nice sounding man apparently and sounded like the principal of the Christian school like I told Zach I was) and then handed the phone to Zach. I told him I was home and he zoomed on over on one of those new "luxury" bicycles shaped like the long Harleys (I'm sure there's a name to them that I'll learn someday soon).
Since he's paying for his own gas and he had to fill up twice, he said it needed to be at least $20, even though he couldn't get his trimmer started and it always needs to be trimmed. I smiled at his little orphan boy face and said, "Get off my land!" No. I told him I thought that fair for the amount of time and effort and ran inside to further rob Karsten's piggy bank (as I try to live in a fairly cashless society…for multiple reasons) because Zach just doesn't take debit cards at this point.
While it's not the prettiest mowing job I've seen (in fact, Zach and I are going to have a talk about how lonely the uncut strips of grass must have felt standing there all alone all over the yard) and while I ended up doing all the trimming and blowing myself last night (all alone in the rain which had started again) I went to bed so happy that I got the chance to meet Zach and will have a chance to minister to him this summer, that he has ambition, that I didn't have to mow my really long grass by myself, and several other thoughts that made me smile as I drifted off to dream.