Thursday, May 7, 2015

Killin' It Like Kowalski

If it is not a truism it certainly should be:  No one buys a house at or near the beach because he enjoys cutting grass.  The lawn is a disfavored external accoutrement at the Shore.  Unless of course, you own property in Spring Lake.  For in Spring Lake, not only is having a lawn mandatory, using a micrometer to ensure uniformity of the height of its individual blades is as well.  Believe me on this, as one who runs annually on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend in the Spring Lake Five Mile Run, you are more likely to find a home in Spring Lake that is not owned and/or occupied by someone of Irish descent than you are to find a home whose lawn is awry at all.  It is as if the entire town is landscaped by the Christof and the other minds behind The Truman Show.  

Less than one week ago, the Missus and I closed on our little piece of the American Dream - at least our American Dream I reckon - a home slightly more than two blocks from the beach in Lake Como, New Jersey.  For those with inquiring minds, the Clooneys and the Kennys are not neighbors.  Their home is in the other Lake Como - in Italy.   

As luck would have it, the home we purchased has a postage-stamp-sized front yard.  We spent this past weekend down there working on some things, both inside and outside, and as I was puttering around in the front of the house (doing some scraping and painting - Margaret thankfully explained to me the correct order in which to perform those related tasks, which lessened my frustration palpably) I noticed that the grass needed to be cut.  I remembered that the persons from whom we purchased the home had left an old-school, manual mower in the garage.  I decided that I would take it out and see whether it was still capable of cutting anything - other than the air. 

Given its outward appearance, I was not initially encouraged by my prospects of being able to use it.  Boy was I ever wrong.  Weathered and beaten-looking as it might be (and I assure you it is), it worked spectacularly well.  I cut my grass to a respectable height while leaving no carbon footprint whatsoever.  It is quite an acoustically-interesting experience as well, in that the spinning blades make a sound akin to something one would more readily associate with a barber shop than a front lawn.  

Margaret also thought it was hysterical.  She took a number of photographs of the lawn-cutting process, which she hopes to feature in her first gallery show, tentatively entitled "Old Man & Older Machine", including this one: 

It is not everyone who gets to rock his inner Walt Kowalski.  I do - although I am not as fiercely protective of my lawn as he was of his.  I know not how long grass shall have a home at the front of our home, including whether or not it shall be there beyond this summer.  For however long it lasts, my new old friend and I shall enjoy cutting it.  


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