Wednesday, August 06, 2008

City Slicker in New England or "Having fun mowing your lawn"

Ever since I was a kid I had a very bad memory, it is not that I was not able to remember anything (except for the things I did not want to do of course), but I had difficult time memorizing subjects like history. That is when I learned to memorize things "by association" and this is why instead of promised topic of "cutting losses" I'd like to talk about yesterday, that is my yesterday.

Brief biographical data: I was born and raised in a big city ( 2.7 million people ), I always lived in big cities, loved that city living with all my heart. Then so happened that I had to move to rural New England's town with about 30,000 habitants. Nice clean wealthy place - "old money" type of.

So I had to adjust my lifestyle some ...and one of numerous adjustments I had to make was - I had to start mowing the lawn and I tried to avoid it by hiring "professional" who successfully ruined it by cutting top soil with the grass and it took significant efforts and some hefty amount of money to reanimate it.

If you want something done right... and I bought a lawn mower ( I just could not imagine myself riding a big kick .. tractor on my segmented 1.1 acre lawn.

Every single year I make the very same mistake - I keep postponing "first cut" for as long as I can. I keep ignoring fast growing grass, I keep "forgetting" about it, I try to come up with every humanly possible reason for not doing it ... and here comes the time when I cannot see my dog in the grass ( I have lovely Golden Retriever of very impressive stature - some call her "fat" - I call her using politically correct term of "big and tall".

Anyone who tried to cut 2 feet tall grass with a push mower during very rare New England's sunny days ( in between of the rains ) knows what kind of torture that is.

Every 5 yards you have to stop and empty it out, you have to use your hands to clean that mediocre discharge hole, you have to mow the same spot 2 -3 times otherwise place looks like a small Nebraska town after tornado, you have to pull the tarp with the wet grass to the woods ( I got plenty of woods, I can tell you that - with all the mosquitoes in the world living right close by ), you run out of gas and forced to take a shower and drive 20 minutes to the closest gas station and then to the next one, 'cause the first one is "closed for flu".

And of course the day when you finally cutting the damn grass happens to be the hottest, most humid day from all the days you could possibly pick for torturing yourself before that day.

Your legs hurt, you are sweating like a 200lbs pig, your eyes are itching and tearing full of pollen, you becoming a raging human flesh the only desire left is to "DO IT TODAY, ALL OF IT - it is going to rain again for the next 10 days!".
You don't see, you don't feel, you do not distinguish anymore between lawn and your wife's flower garden or UPS package laying on the driveway, your feet start to slide on the slope under insultingly grinning at you your very own lawn mower ... and here comes the moment of truth - you fall on the grass and cry and ask yourself THE question:
"Why, or why I did not do it before?
I knew I will have to do it.
I knew it will cause more pain as the days go by.
I knew it will cause a lot of pain if left growing.
I knew I will have to do it in the most inconvenient moment.
I knew I would end up killing more grass by pulling it out of the soil, that actually cutting it.
I knew I would have to cancel whatever plans I had for that day - and may be next few ones - my mood is too screwed up and I sleep on the couch.
Why did not I cut it while it was low and enjoyed the peace of mind - and while in a good mood I could come up with some new great ideas ( instead of constantly thinking how to avoid cutting "it")


Why did not I sell that stock with 7-8% loss and let it go down 40% and ruin my portfolio and state of mind?

Oh well, the least you can do now is to take a look here and have some healthy lawn mowers laughter.