While walking with Travis last night, we walked past one of his parent's neighbors, who was busy occupied mowing and trimming his yard.
He was dressed in old shorts, the standard freebie white shirt from some corporate event 20 years ago and old sneakers. He had his plastic eye-protection gear on while he was wielding his electric weed-eater. And of course, there were the socks: he had on white athletic socks pulled all the way up close to his knees. Now, if you have ever mowed or trimmed a yard, as my brother, Peter, and I will testify, along with every other lawncare aficinado, this is a neccessary fashion faux pas. A mower or weed-wacking blade can and will move dirt and small rocks at leg-injuring speeds. Socks are protection.
The entire sight of this poor man putting so much effort into his electric weed-eater brought back a very funny memory of our favorite lawn customer of summers past: Mr. Banjeolee. Mr. Banjeolee was a neighbor who employed our services at Jansen Lawn Services off and on over the years. Every spring as lawncare began, we would watch his lawn peak in its growth while we waited in dread for the call. For some odd reason, God ordained that his front lawn would grow at double the rate and thickness of the other lawns on his side of the street. Diane, the next door neighbor, had thinning grass under her trees. But, no, the Banjeolees was the thickest and deepest every year. And every year he tried to cut it himself.
He would step out of his door on a Saturday morning dressed in the same gear: the old tight t-shirt, the short shorts of yesteryear, the old sneakers...and the socks. He would pull out his 14-inch wide electric mower and go to work. Except his lawn was so thick that he had to cut it one square at a time, lifting the bed up and over the grass and bringing it down on top of the grass in an effort to conquer it's growth. You could hear it from our house, the "vreee...chunk...chachoonk..thunk". The grass was so thick it would inevitably clog up his mower, he would take a break, and it would sit in the front of his lawn, defeated, about halfway through the job. Every year he would get about halfway. Sometime, he would even accomplish the season's first cut.
Then we would get the call to finish up. And take over for a few cuts.
O, the memories it brought back the other night. I laughed so hard on my walk telling Travis this story I could hardly breathe. Thanks Peter for letting me in on your business (even though it was me who showed you how to make marketing flyers on Word). All those miserable summers were justified by the laughter last night.