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10:00 a.m. - July 17, 2006
Flippin Hot It Is
In the eternal battle between hot and cold, if given a choice, I’ll take cold.

Because I don’t think you can take off enough clothes to be comfortable in this weather.

Mother Nature has decided to bring the heat and humidity to the heartland. This past weekend, phew, was not for the faint of heart.

And of course, I had to be out in it for a while, because the grass decided to grow a bit. During the week, it rained for about 2 ½ days straight, and that caused my yard to sprout up big time. So there was no getting around it, the yard needed to be cut and needed to be cut this weekend.

So, I chose Saturday morning for my lawn excursion, and I was not looking forward to it much. The grass had been dewy in the morning, and parts of it were thick, so I knew I was in for a long morning.


I steeled myself for the heat, loaded Lauren’s (locked) playlist into my iPod (she said that she’d listen to her CDs this weekend, so I needed to remember what the heck I put on for her) and sallied forth onto the garage.

The temp was already in the mid 80’s, and just walking into the garage was enough to melt your face. But I did not have the option to have my face melted. Because if I didn’t get the lawn cut – then poor Liz would have to rent a team of goats for the job, after the shock of seeing her husband resemble the Nazi’s in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

(Ack – I AM lame. I spent five minutes racking my brain for the title of that movie. For some reason, I had a mental blackout. I was going to myself, “You know, the one with Harrison Ford, the Ark of the Covenant, Karen Allen, the Nazis…”. I blame the heat.)

I filled the lawn mower up with gas and oil, started it up, and proceeded to start choppin’.

The first pass I make is the section between the sidewalk and the street. Of course, Market Street is quite busy, since it is a US highway and the main drag for everyone who wants to go to Uncle Smiley’s (“Home of the Big Oink”) or to the metropolii of Waynetown and Veedersburg.

I make sure I’m facing traffic, so I know what’s coming. I turn the mower to face the traffic, and start making passes. My foot is on the curb, and I’ll be darned if this car doesn’t start moving closer to me, like he’s daring me to go out on the street.

Dude, it’s hot, and even in my Zoloftian state I can still go postal on you, so step off. Of course, I said all that to myself, after he was long long gone.

Anything to keep your mind off the heat.

Things were going well until the section that’s under our big tree. That section of the grass always seems to grow quite thick and lush. Normally, during the springtime, it gets really thick and it clogs up my mulcher, but during the summertime there’s usually not a problem since it doesn’t rain that much.

Ah, but like I said, it had rained for two days straight, so I had to fight with the potential clogging, which meant that I had to make multiple passes, and restart the thing a couple of times.

Not something you want to do when the heat index is over 95.

Katie was viewing all of this through the bay window and waving to me. I waved back a couple of times, but I had to concentrate on the yard. Thankfully most of the front yard is in shade.

The second half of the front yard started out well. More of it is in sun, and more of it has that issue with the thick grass. As I was futzing near our fence, the mower did the “clunk, clunk, cluuuuuuuuunk” sound that means only one thing.

It’s out of gas. It seems that all of the double cutting and engine restarts burned through my gas quickly.

Of course, the engine stopped, and now my EARS WERE FULL OF LAUREN’S MUSIC. I NEED TO TURN IT down…there…whew.

I had to trundle off to the garage to get the gas can. That’s when I first realized how flippin’ hot it was, and how tired I was getting already.

Going through our back yard, I saw the wheelbarrow that was full of clippings and plants. Liz had been making a garden out back, but recent events have conspired that project to be delayed. The wheelbarrow was in the way, and I decided that I needed to move it behind our garage.

Oof! Because it was outside, it had collected rainwater, and that rainwater was now fetid, too. So it was smelly AND heavy. That’s fun. So I had to drain off some of the water before I could even MOVE the thing, then I moved it behind the garage.

It was at that moment that I realized that I should have started on the back.


We have a plastic slide contraption in the backyard. Every time I cut the grass, I have to move it.

It’s not really heavy, but it’s kind of bulky and takes a little effort to move. Plus, there’s no shade in the backyard. And by this time

By waiting until the end, I’m going to have to move that contraption when I’m totally spent, and tired.


So I got back to cutting the grass, cursing my planning ability. And when I moved to the back, I tried to go as fast as I could. When it came time to move the slide, I did, but I was about spent.

Finally, the lawn was done, and I put everything back in the garage, and walked back in the house. When I got inside, I checked the playlist. I had gone through 23 of Lauren’s songs, which meant that I was out there for about an hour and 15 minutes.

I chugged a water bottle and dashed upstairs for a shower. My shirt was clinging to my body, and my shorts and boxers were also soaked. I was a super-sweat machine. I was beyond glistening.

After the shower, it took about a half hour or more for me to get relaxed. My brain ached, my body ached and I felt like I couldn’t drink enough water. And I was just out cutting the grass – walking and pushing a lawn mower. Yikes.

Later that day, I was doing my laundry, and I reached into my dirty clothes and pulled out my shirt. Eewwwwww, it was still all wet and slimy. Nice.

I don’t know how people who work outside are going to cope this week. Every day it’s going to be over 90 with high humidity. Perhaps they’re not weenies.

I know I am, though, and I’m proud. Pass the mustard.


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