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Lawn-Mowing 101

August, 2009


The things you take for granted. Like lawn-mowing, for example. As our two Chinese host-students were getting into my truck to go get cell phones Merlajean was rolling the lawnmower out of the garage. As exciting as “finally getting connected” would be, AND making their first purchase in the USA… the little four-wheel machine with “HONDA” stamped on its side caught their eye and wouldn’t let go. There they stood, frozen mid-step in the driveway, insatiably curious as my wife pulled on the starter rope. (Yup, it started on the first pull. Always does.) As the roar of the machine drowned out any further conversation, they inched closer to watch as my wife flipped the transmission to “drive” and took off across the lawn, shaving a nice clean path down the middle of the shaggy lawn! Forget the cell phones. They wanted in on the action! So my wife proceeded to teach them how to run the lawnmower across the lawn… which levers to push and which ones to pull. Yuan went first. Away it went! A little faster than he expected. He ended up doing a wheelie up the hillside! Youkang was next. He too bordered on doing wheelies and running level. Up and down they went. I snuck inside to get my camera and snapped a few pics. (For their mama’s, of course.) Then they stood and watched Merlajean for a while. Funny. The things you take for granted. It never occurred to me that neither one had never cut the grass before. But then, why would they have? There’s very little private lawn to mow where they live. As we hopped in the truck and headed for the cell phone store, I realized the joke was really on me: I just passed up the opportunity to give them a “free gift” of mowing our whole lawn! What was I thinking!?


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