Sunshine, spring flowers and broken-down lawnmowers

Temperatures may have been on the cool side in my neighborhood this week, but at least the sun has been shining – and I’m not just talking about the one our planet revolves around.

I’m also referring to the one I revolve around.

My wife has been home from her annual spring beach trip for a couple of weeks – meaning the clouds have parted at our house. So much so, you might notice a marked improvement in this weekend’s column.

The last time I filed, it was without her imprimatur. She usually dots my I’s, crosses my T’s and otherwise sees to it that the drivel I scribble makes sense. But she was too busy living it up with her beach posse to make sure I didn’t embarrass myself (her?).

She’s back home now, so it’s probably safe to keep reading. Periods, commas, apostrophes and other punctuation marks should be where they are most useful, and verbs are more likely to agree with nouns. If not, it’s probably because I changed something after she stamped her approval.

In any case, it’s almost as if the sun has been celebrating my wife’s return. It’s been brilliant this week, a happy circumstance that agrees with the bulbs she planted in front of our house last fall. They are soaking up the spring rays. The yellow daffodils and red and lavender tulips are striking against the deep green of spring grass.

At least, that’s what I tell myself about our yard, that there is grass growing in it. The reality is different.

The truth is, aside from dandelions, I’m not exactly sure what has taken root. But something is growing, which is why I broke out my sputtering old lawn mower for the first time last week.

Unlike some of our neighbors who have upgraded to riding mowers, mine is more like what my dad used. It’s a basic gas-powered, push mower that I bought at the home improvement store too many years ago to count.

As I pulled it into the light of day from a dark corner of our garage, I found myself considering my options if it didn’t start. After all, it sputtered badly the last time I used it. It has seen better days.

As it turns out, I didn’t need to cross my fingers or even say a quick prayer. Apparently, the time off it had over the past several months did it some good. The old clunker started up right on cue. While it didn’t necessarily roar to life, it worked well enough to dispel any notion of replacing it, at least for the time being.

It’s no secret that I’d rather maintain my busy nap schedule than tend to yard work. But I have to admit – there is something to be said for cutting grass (weeds) for the first time each spring.

I haven’t figured out why that is. Maybe it’s simply the appeal of a lawnmower’s horsepower at your fingertips, even if the mower is more like a jalopy than a muscle car.

Or maybe not.

I’ll let you know just as soon as I get better at punctuation.


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