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Column: It's about time to mow the lawn

It’s just about time to do the first mow of the season, and I have mixed feelings about it. In fact, it would be safe to say I have a love/hate relationship with my mower.

One of the most significant issues with the first mow of the year is the amount of poop I have in my yard. I don’t own a dog, but my neighbor’s dog uses my front and back yard as its own private toilet. I wouldn’t mind as much as I do if the dog wasn’t a jerk, but he’s about one step away from Cujo.

I have many other animal droppings in the yard, along with Fido next door. I can quickly identify when a cow manages to get into the yard from a neighboring ranch, but I do not have working knowledge of the rest of the scat that I step in twice a week for five months.

Another issue I have with mowing is living on a state highway. While where I live is supposed to be a 45-mile-per-hour zone, I don’t think I have seen anyone go that speed in the four years I’ve lived here. I get a little nervous at the edge of the grass when a vehicle comes screaming by at 90.

I also rather not have an audience when I mow. It is weird to see how many people, the ones not speeding like crazy, like to stare at someone doing a simple chore. On busier days of traffic, I like to mow in my pajamas so people who will stare anyway can get a performance.

Also, I’m not too fond of dandelions. No matter what I do, they always come back and can ruin a great-looking lawn.

Well, now that the negatives are out of the way, I like plenty about mowing the lawn.

First and foremost, I have an amazing view from the backyard, and it never gets old. Mowing gives me another opportunity to be in the backyard. There is so much to like about being outside in Montana in the summer, and I’m not quite sure if I would have as much fun mowing a lawn in downtown Chicago.

I’ve got a decent-sized front yard, so mowing is also great exercise. Some days, my “bad” knee does not want me outside, and I would rather be on a riding mower, but it’s just not the same. I spent a few months of my life mowing baseball fields and a golf course on a riding mower and would have hated to do what I did with a push mower, but doing a yard is different.

I really need to get into better shape, so this is always an excellent start. It sometimes encourages me to get on the exercise bike.

Finishing up the yard and working up quite a thirst is also an excellent excuse to have a cold beer. So what that it is a Monday and 11 a.m., a freshly mowed lawn cannot be fully enjoyed without a barley pop.

One of the best parts of mowing the lawn is that it can also be a stress relief because I don’t have to worry about work, money, or people griping over politics.

This year I’m thinking about getting shoes just to mow the lawn. This way, it won’t be that big of a deal what I’m stepping in, and the shoes can stay outside all summer.

The more I write about the positives, I’m excited to get the first mow out of the way. I’ll probably regret that when I try to mow during the afternoon in July.