Archive for the 'Awesomeness of my grandparents' Category

Lawn care

February 16, 2011

Andrew Hicks

EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog post for Wednesday is also being written on Thursday.

By some sort of groundhog non-shadow-seeing fluke, the weather was absolutely beautiful today. We went outside, and Silas stayed in the stroller the whole time, but Sarah took full advantage of the back yard amenities. She climbed the narrow embankment stairs, threw washers in the bucket and lined 13 chunky rocks up in a row. I wonder sometimes if my daughter will develop OCD, because I can tell it bothers her if items aren’t properly lined up.

The couple who lived in our house before we did was in their sixties. They enjoyed gardening as a hobby, clearly, because every spring, beautiful flowers come popping up all over. Then get choked out by weeds and neglect. The rocks Sarah was playing with came from a medium-sized, circular in-ground planter in the backyard. We’ve been dismantling the rocks off and on — mostly off — for the past year. It is our systematic plan to undo all the beauty the last people created and have the plainest-looking yard on the block. Crap, this’ll be our third summer here, and we don’t even have a trimmer yet.

Any lawn-care talk causes me to flash back to my grandpa on Mom’s side. He and Grandma would come up to our house a couple days a week while my mom was at work to watch us kids and help out around the house. My grandma would do our laundry all day. She was notorious for pulling clothes from the dryer way before they were dry. If my brother or I would try to protest (“But Grandma, these pants are still dripping”), she’d always say, “Oh, they’re just a little damp.”

Grandpa and I would spend our day fixing whatever was broken (he’d fix, I’d assist, mainly) and cutting the grass. Cutting was easy — we had a nice riding lawnmower — but raking and trimming were a pain. The back yard was big, and the grass grew superthick.

Grandpa would always pack us each a lunch — bologna sandwiches, Ruffles and Chip’s Ahoy, with a can of Coke Classic. His sandwiches had mayonnaise, while I was still years away from discovering the sinful glee of extra-heavy duty mayo. And, at the end of the day, he’d pay me for helping him. It averaged out to something like a dollar an hour, but it was the first paid work I ever did. I had a fantastic set of grandparents, and I wish they could have met my wife and kids.


Sarah and Daddy on Valentine's Day.