Body of work

Yesterday’s weather was absolutely perfect. There are maybe five or six days like this in South Texas. Temp was in the mid 70s, wind was mild, light cloud cover. A meteorologist’s wet dream, I imagine. 

It was a perfect day to go on a long ride. I imagine I’d have taken Daphne out to Pearsall to visit Grandpa Uppie’s gravesite, if I’d had the time. 

After we went to a crab boil at some of Lacey’s friends’ place, we decided to get the lawn mowed. That’s not exactly the best last hurrah to put the weekend to bed, but it was necessary. 

Speaking of last hurrahs 

We bought the Kingwood house the day after my birthday in 2008. I don’t remember exactly the first time I mowed the lawn here. I do remember Uncle John being very meticulous about how he kept it when he lived here. 

I’ve never claimed to be a yard enthusiast (if such a thing exists), but I have always done my best to keep it looking nice. 

It used to be because I’d wonder if he’d drive by, on the off chance, just to check up on the old house. Not necessarily get out and chat with us. Just swing by, and see the old house and neighborhood. 

Now I wonder if he’s looking down on it, with approval or perhaps admonishment when I decide not to weedeat. 

Things change, except when they don’t 

How many times did a 2-year-old Logan follow me with his bubble mower? That grin spread across his red, chubby cheeks as he helped me. He doesn’t know it, but him and his brother have helped me more than they can imagine. 

I remember Luke enthusiastically pulling the seed pods off the Esperanzas in the springtime. And whacking the weeds with whatever he could find, be it a stick or toy sword. 

Now the boys are 9 and (almost) 6. Logan can gas up, start and run that mower by himself. Luke knows to pull up the weeds by the root. Aside from some light weedeating, I’m left to marvel at how they’ve grown. 

But I still struggle and curse at the mower and weedeater. I still have trouble restringing that sonofabitch. And, of course, there are scores of wasps, ants and mosquitoes that feast on me. 

Daylight’s wasting

It seemed oddly fitting to finish mowing as the sun set. I ran out of gas right as I rounded the final turn. 

This was my first yard. Mine to keep up with, or neglect. Mowing had become the chore I loved and hated. I loved it because I could work and still have my mind free to meander. I hated it because, well, sometimes mowing just plain sucks. 

Like the first time I had mowed it in four months and it had grown up to my knees. Took me four scorching, frustrating hours to push that piece of shit Toro mower over that grass. And it looked like shit after I was done. So many tall stalks were missed. 

The beer I drank after that ordeal was one of the best beers I’d ever had. 

It’s more than just a yard

This backyard was where’re had our first and second trampolines. Where the tree fell over and Lacey narrowly missed its path of destruction by just a few hours. 

This is where I taught both Logan and Luke how to throw and catch. We’ve had countless pool days, BBQs and birthday parties. We carved pumpkins out here. 

At night, Lacey, Kara and I would sit out on the porch and drink. I remember when I pissed on the fence and spelled out my name. Alcohol encourages you do things you think are funny. In case you didn’t know. 

Leaving it in good hands

I’m glad my brother and sister-in-law are buying the place. It feels right. 

There are an infinite number of memories to be made and cherished in this backyard. 

I think Uncle John would feel the same way. 

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