The sound of lawnmowers, weed eaters and blowers often disrupt the peace while I am fishing. Those are both sounds I did not hear in my early years. We had rakes and hoes, not leaf blowers and weed eaters, and many of the folks I knew had brush brooms, not lawnmowers. Their yards were dirt, not grass.
If anyone wasted time and effort on a lawn, they did it with an old push reel grass cutter. I had the “pleasure” of using one of those a few times in my preteen years but could never really push them hard or fast enough to make it work very well.
By the time I was 13 we did have a nice lawn. The year before my parents had torn down the old farm house we had lived in for 12 years, building a nice split level brick house on the same lot. Termites in the old house sped up the need for my mom’s dream house and my parents went way out on a mortgage limb to build it, something they did not believe in. Borrowing money was not something they wanted to do and going into debt was much less common 55 years ago than it is now.
The old farm house had a huge living room and kitchen in front and two bedrooms and a bathroom in the back. All the way in the back was a bedroom, a small kitchen and bathroom that my grandmother lived in for several years. I think those are now called mother-in-law suites.
We tore down the front half of the old house and lived in the back rooms while the new house was being built within feet of those rooms. When we tore down the old house we found the floor beams were hand hewn pine logs. The ax marks were plainly visible on them.
The old section had a big fireplace and chimney. My dad, being frugal, had us tear it down and chip off the old mortar and he sold the bricks. I was weird to me that folks would pay so much for old bricks that we could buy about ten times as many new ones with the money.
Daddy decided to plant carpet grass since he had seen some pretty lawns of it in Florida. It was delivered to our house in sod pieces about two feet wide and three feet long. Rather than place those pieces for an instant lawn, my frugal dad made us pull it apart and plant sprigs in shallow furrows. That was a hot, tiring job but within a couple of years we had our thick carpet of grass.
That grass required a good lawn mower and dad got a gas-powered push mower. I spent many hours struggling to crank it then slowly pushing it along. We had a big yard and it took several hours to cut it all.
One of my friend’s dad was a sergeant in the Army and was very strict. As punishment, he made my friend cut grass – with scissors! He would be told to take the scissors out and cut for an hour to punish him for misbehavior. That would probably be called child abuse now but it taught him discipline. I never had to do that, at least.
Its funny now that I hate cutting grass in my yard although it is small and takes less than an hour. But I like going to the farm and cutting with the rotary mower for several hours at a time. I guess it is knowing I am getting ready to hunt the field after getting it plowed and planting winter wheat.