Mowing the Yard (Old School)

Son: Daddy, can I mow the yard?

Daddy: No son, you’re too little.

Son: Daddy, can I mow the yard?

Daddy: You can help push (or ride)

Son: Daddy, can I mow the yard?

Daddy: Yes!

Son: Dad, I don’t want to help mow the yard

Daddy: That’s ok.

Son: Why do I always have to mow the yard, Dad?

Dad: Because you’re growing up and need to learn responsibilities, Son.

Son: I’m tired of mowing the yard, Dad. I’m not gonna do it.

Dad: Get out there and mow the yard or you’re getting the belt!!!!


img_6455Every son has had this conversation in some form or fashion with their dad. I did and every one of my friends did. And although this post has nothing to do with getting Levi out to mow the yard with me it has everything to do with how I used to mow the yard and the tradition carried on (even if for one mowing) at our piece of Heaven on Earth.

I remember living in Cornersville when I was young and asking Dad if I could mow the yard. He wouldn’t let me because I was too small. Over time the more he wanted me to help mow the yard, the more I did not want to mow the yard because as I got older and stronger I got wiser to the hot and miserable job.

We never owned a riding lawnmower. Most people I knew, including us, did not have the money to afford one. In them days it was like owning a zero-turn today. Not everyone could afford one but they sure looked nice when you saw one as you careened you neck to watch as you drove by. We had a push mower that generated power from the legs and arms and with such a small deck, any yard of size took many, many, many passes to get it cut.

I did not experience the luxury of riding while cutting the yard till Carrie and I were married for a few years. We bought a used one from a friend and not too long after we bought it I had to weld the deck back up. We had a lot of issues with it to the extent that when we moved from our house, I left it sitting in the back yard. I was tired of tinkering on that piece of junk.

When we moved to where we are now, we inherited another riding lawn mower that has quite some age on it. It also has been through the ringer and I’ve put some money and work into it as well.

Unfortunately, I believe it has met its end because yesterday, while I was mowing, I heard it make a tremendous clanking sound as if metal was being pushed through a meat grinder and smoke bellowed out of the engine compartment. Now it won’t start.

Needless to say, I had to finish the yard off with the push mower. What normally takes about an hour to mow took roughly three. I spent the time pushing, wiping sweat away, and thinking back on days gone by when I used to spend pushing the mower as a kid. I remembered I used to make $20 mowing the neighbor’s yard. I remembered that big ole hill behind my mom’s house that I used to loathe. I remembered the ground hornets my dad ran over that chased him around the house.

So many memories.


I thought about how Carrie’s granddad used to mow this yard. The push mowers were much heavier then.  Houses didn’t have air-conditioning then. Men didn’t wear shorts then. In the sweltering summer heat, her granddad had to do what was necessary to make this place look presentable.

I had no room to groan and complain. especially after I had just taught on worshiping through the pain at church. Who was I to teach and then turn my back on my teaching? Who was I to spurn tradition in a moment of displeasure?

So I worshiped. I pushed the mower. I Got R Dun!

(Now to figure out what to do so I don’t have to do that anymore!)




About Kevin Riner

child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged
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2 Responses to Mowing the Yard (Old School)

  1. Vickie Riner says:

    buy a new riding

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