It’s the time of year when everyone seems to be on a prolonged vacation…kids
are out jail, oops, I meant school, families are packing the car and taking adventurous road trips, snow birds are heading north (or west), surfers are tearing up the waves (not really…we don’ t have any) and the beach is a constant attraction to anyone who breathes.
But for those of us in the lawn care business, summer means something else—something not quite so pleasant. Something not so vacation-like. When summer begins for us, it’s like entering an evil Twilight Zone where the heat never wanes, the sun shoots laser rays, the rain leaves blankets of humidity and the grass mocks and jeers, haunting us even in our sleep. We awaken stiff and sore, parched still from the day before and shuffle to the coffee maker on feet that ache with every step. We look out the window to see how many inches the grass has grown overnight. We stare at the sky hoping for cloud cover and a cool breeze. Then we usually weep and struggle into our sweat and grass stained work clothes, defeated before the day has begun.
But for me, I try to look on the bright side. I search for that elusive silver lining amongst angry black clouds… to find ways to embrace the summer rather than reject it. I look for the BONUS! Here’s what gives this grass-cutting-gal hope during the seemingly endless Florida summer:
- Summer is a great time to lose weight. I lose about 50 pounds of water weight every day. By five o’clock I’m a mere shell of a woman. I go home and consume as many calories as my body will accept. And if I don’t gain those 50 pounds back by 8:00 that evening, I go out and find ice cream. BONUS!
- Another perk I get from cutting grass is a great tan. Not the salon type spray on tan. But the good old melanoma tan everyone envies. It’s the kind of tan that makes me look as if I’m an adopted mother during family gatherings—of a different race and from a different country. My kids look like alabaster manikins next to me. I can disown them at any moment and act like a stranger and it would be convincing even to them. BONUS!
- Staying in shape is another benefit of doing lawn care. Each day is sort of like boot camp. I am pushed to my physical limits, driven by my commanding officer—General Grass. He’s a ruthless and formidable tyrant, screaming at me to go faster, stop sobbing, stay out of my customers’ pools, keep my sweat to a minimum, maintain a neat appearance beneath the grease and dirt and blood….General Grass sees to it that I remain physically fit all summer long. BONUS!
- Lastly, the summer gives me license to bitch–to legitimately complain and belly ache about how hot it is, how dry it is, how wet it is, how long the grass is, how fast it’s growing, how tired I am, how sore my feet are…I’m not sitting in an air-conditioned office making these lengthy complaints. I’m out in it! I’m a participant in the Twilight Zone, and that gives me the right to gripe! How often does someone get to claim that? It’s invigorating! BONUS!
This Bonus Round is what keeps me going for the twelve months of Florida summer. And when the season changes (which it doesn’t) I’m a new woman. I wade through the clutter that has accumulated in my house for the past several months (we don’t clean in the Twilight Zone) and look for the life I once had in the good ole pre-summer days. I tend to my personal affairs, reacquaint myself with my family, tackle long overdue projects, go surfing, play tennis, get a pedicure (if I can find a brave enough technician who happens to have a blow torch and grinder on hand) and simply relax. I’ve exited the Twilight Zone at last…for a few months anyway. And the funny thing is after a week or two I’ll miss it. It will call to me in the winter months (all two of them) and I’ll quietly whisper “shut the crap up and leave me alone.” Which it won’t. BONUS!