12 July 2007

Mow "pathways" in the lawn

Katherine's (neighbor's mother's) practical hack simplifies a relentless summertime garden chore:

My neighbor told me that her mother used to keep the kids occupied while she was cutting the grass by first cutting some fun pathways and rooms in the grass in the back yard. The kids would have a great time running around, playing house, or just following the leader while she then cut the grass in the front yard.

Aside: Why is mowing the lawn so much more satisfying than vacuuming the house?

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I find any chore that leaves the area looking dramatically better is more satisfying. The lawn probably looks more different when mowed than the carpet does when vacuumed (unless it's been a REALLY long time since you last vacuumed!). I'll happily scrub a filthy tub or wash dishes over doing yet more laundry or vacuuming. I want to see my results!

The post reminds me of my father's mazes he'd cut in the empty field across from our house. The neighborhood guys would chip in to get it mowed once a year for a big picnic. My father made it a lot more fun for us by mowing in odd patterns and wacky lines. I've never been to a "Maize Maze" but they'd probably be great fun too.

When I was a kid, my friend's Dad used to cut the pathways for a baseball field into their grass in the summertime. It helped the little kids learn where to run when they hit the ball.

"Why is mowing the lawn so much more satisfying than vacuuming the house?"

Growing grass has nothing on a houseful of kids! The lawn is unlikely to need a repeat for at least a week.

How often do you say, "I just mowed the lawn this morning, but 10 minutes after the kids came home from school it looked the same!"

"Why is mowing the lawn so much more satisfying than vacuuming the house?"

'Cuz it smells sooooooo good.

The smell. And my three-year-old can try all she wants, but it will still look awesome when she goes to bed after a hard day of serious playtime.

Please GOD, tell these people to get their kids AWAY FROM THE LAWN MOWER!.

Children should never be in the same part of the lawn as an operating mower. NEVER! Why? Not because someone may slip and fall under it (but that has happened), but because any tiny rock that gets "found" by the mower blade is instantly turned into a bullet and discharged from the mower in a random direction. When that hits a child in the face it will be either disfiguring, crippling or fatal. Or all three.

As a former landscaper I NEVER allow my kids on the part of the lawn I am mowing. I insist that they be on the other side of the house. Please make sure you do the same.

Growing up, we'd transplant winter games into paths mowed into the grass. For example, Fox and geese:

Tag, played on a path made by mowing a large circle, with two lines crossing thru the middle. That center point where they cross was 'base' (where the geese could remain safely), and whoever was 'it' (the fox) would chase the others around the circle, trying to catch them so they'd be it.

As we got older, the path shifted from a circle into elaborate paths that'd go behind some trees, had multiple long and short routes cutting around them, etc.

As for mowing lawns being 'rewarding', I couldn't disagree more. But maybe mowing a few dozen lawns a week for realtors while in high school is why I can't stand to mow now. So I bought a Robomower (think Roomba for grass).

Jeff... I thought the same thing, but I think the idea is to cut the back & have the kids play there so you can do the front. I assumed that the kids were safely inside with the other parent when the back was being done. ;) It saddens me to see how many people do this, and even worse, use the trimmers. Weapons for sure.

Keep the thought around for winter, too. Especially if you get a several inch to couple of feet of snow - shovel a loop or small network of 'trails' in the back yard - especially fun if you can stack the snow deep on the sides. Dogs & Kids love it.

We used snowshoes to pack the snow on the bottom, and hands to firm up the sides a bit. This leaves the middle deeper & fun for playing in.

Little kids can even xc ski in it.

I know - months away and only possible for a few parts of the world....

Keep the thought around for winter, too. Especially if you get a several inch to couple of feet of snow - shovel a loop or small network of 'trails' in the back yard - especially fun if you can stack the snow deep on the sides. Dogs & Kids love it.

We used snowshoes to pack the snow on the bottom, and hands to firm up the sides a bit. This leaves the middle deeper & fun for playing in.

Little kids can even xc ski in it.

I know - months away and only possible for a few parts of the world....

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