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Livin’ In The Hood…

When my wife and I moved to Silver Spring Farms in Nolensville Tennessee last July, we fell in love with the neighborhood. I also admired how well every homeowner took care of their homes and yards.

Believe me, when you drive around this entire neighborhood you become impressed at how conscientious everyone is to care for their homes and properties. In fact, in the days following our move to Dominick Drive, I began to get a bit concerned about my ability to take care of our new yard.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I can push a mower with the best of them…but I didn’t realize how childish and immature my lawnmower and weed wacker were going to behave every time I went out to cut the grass. For those of you who aren’t aware of it, lawnmowers age at twice the rate of a dog. One “mower year” equals fourteen however, they have a much longer lifespan…depending on the brand.

Needless to say, this Spring, as I brought my one-year-old (14 mower years) mower out of the garage I became aware of how mouthy and disrespectful he had become over the winter. Teenagers get that way you know…they get embarrassed when the other mowers around the neighborhood come out and start whispering to each other about our yard.

I have an anthropomorphic relationship with my garden tools and the other day my mower looked and me and rolled his eyes. “Dude, you aren’t actually taking me out again, are you?” I asked him what his problem was. Another eye roll. I asked him what the problem was.”First of all,” he said with a smirk, “You may not have noticed but I have a pull cord…all the other kids on the block are electronic start!”

This was tantamount to my children when they were teens telling me they wouldn’t be caught dead in anything less than Air Jordans. My weed wacker also piped up. She said, “I can’t go out there with this old nylon line from last season! Duh…You could at least get me a new line and clean me up so the neighbor’s gas-powered weed wacker will even know I exist!” Weed wackers can be such princesses!

Now, even though their complaints were childish and totally like a pre-teen adolescent, I had to concede that I had made a SERIOUS mistake before moving to the hood. I hadn’t really gotten to know about our neighbors and it wasn’t until the ink had dried on our contract that I realized if Silver Spring Farms were Disneyland, then my next-door neighbors were Prince Charming and Cinderella.

Besides the fact that they are a dangerously good-looking couple with an adorable daughter, the Greeno’s, (make a note of the name) have a backyard that Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods would be proud of. One could putt off of their back patio and put it in the cup on that yard of theirs. Seriously, I began to realize that my mower and weed-wacker were not altogether exaggerating. Both Augusta National and the U.S. Open Board of Directors are jealous of their lawn. Lee Trevino is buried there…I think.

Living next door to the cool kids of lawn care has its advantages though. Every time they mow their yard my land value goes up a thousand dollars. Pretty cool.

That point however is lost on my two pubescent yard tools.I woke up this morning to a note on my garage door. “Dad, you embarrass me! I’m leaving!” I looked around my garage and realized that my mower had run away from home. I walked out to find him sitting at the front door of my neighbors.

I sat down and had a talk with him. He agreed to come home if I would try extra hard to do some landscaping and use premium gasoline when I mowed with him. It’s important to listen to your kids…you know?

It’s hard to live in the hood knowing I’m such a bad lawn tool parent, but I’m taking notes and doing my best to not embarrass my kids anymore. In any case, as a writer, I had to share my pain with someone…so, here it is for all to see. I have given my weed-wacker a new nylon line…(EXTRA HEAVY DUTY!) and she is happy again and, I think has a date with the Greeno’s new turbocharged weed trimmer. I hope he has her home on time. Saturday’s coming, and she and I have work to do!

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