One thing I like about living down here practically on the Texas Gulf Coast: no winter.
One thing I don't like about living down here practically on the Texas Gulf Coast: year-round lawn mowing.
Anybody who knows me knows that I don't like mowing the lawn. This stems from a childhood trauma created by having to mow a lawn of about ten acres with a reel-type push mower. Uphill. In the snow.
Okay, perhaps I'm exaggerating a little bit. Not about the push mower, however. I really did mow a large lawn with one for several years back before I even entered junior high. My father finally relented and bought a power mower, for which I was grateful for about forty-five minutes. Then I found out I was expected to use it.
Down here, grass grows for most of the year. If you're lucky, you might have to mow only a couple of times in December, and maybe not even once in January. But by the middle of February, the stuff is greening up, and once that happens, you might as well crank up the mower because the cycle is beginning all over again. It never ends.
Which is why I was out today, the Monday after Thanksgiving, mowing in the 80 degree weather. And as soon as I finished, it rained. Which means the stupid lawn is growing even now.
Lawn mowing is big business in these parts. People make good money at the job. My favorite story in that regard was told to me by a teacher at the college. He was building a very nice home in Friendswood, just down the road from Alvin. He thought it was rather extravagant, in fact. But not long after he got started, someone began an even bigger, nicer home right down the street. He decided that he'd like to meet the people who were building it, since they'd soon be his neighbors, so he walked down one afternoon. And -- I'm sure you guessed it -- the guy who would soon be moving in was the one who came every week to the teacher's house to mow the lawn.
Nobody pays me. All I get is the satisfaction of a job well done. And we all know how good that makes you feel.