Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bikes and Lawn Mowers

I grew up in a midwest subarb outside Chicago. My Dad suggested I mow lawns to make money. I could mow a lawn in about an hour, which usually = $20. That was a good rate for a teenager if you could line up 4-5 lawns a day. Only problem was transporting the lawnmower around town. I wasn't yet old enough to drive.

Problem solved - my Dad built me a cart to tow the lawn mower around. This was horrifyingly embarrassing for me. Especially on the few occasions when I took a corner too fast and tipped the lawn mower off. Let me tell you though - with the weight of a lawn mower behind you, a bike can really FLY down the one hill that exists in the midwest.

I vividly remember pedaling down the street as fast as possible, hoping none of the "cool kids" would see me with my lawn mower in tow. They didn't have summer jobs. They also probably didn't learn the value of money and saving at a young age.

I mowed lawns for several sticky and muggy summers, including one cicada-filled summer where I ran while mowing the grass to try to keep the creepy, flying bugs off my legs.

Funny how time changes things. I now see this as one of my best childhood summer memories. I'm glad I wasn't a "cool kid" and that I got to learn the value of hard work and creative transportation. Plus, making all those nice diagonal lines in the bright green grass is pretty fun!