My Hat’s Off to You

Dear Lake People and people who live on the lake,

[A note here for my non-BSC readers: Apparently, Lake People are those who don’t live here full time, but have vacation cabins on the lake.  People who live on the lake actually, well, live here. On the lake.]

My hat’s off to you.  I don’t know how you do it week after week, year after year, but obviously you have some clever strategy that I lack.

Let me explain: I mowed the lawn for the first time today at the house I’m renting, and I thought I might die doing it–or at least tumble down the hill and into the lake, blades still whirring.

You see, I grew up on a mountain in Vermont, and though Vermont is called the Green Mountain State, it’s not because we plant lawns on our steep inclines.

But in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it’s apparently de rigeur to seed or sod precipitously steep slopes and perhaps it’s even considered a sport here to mow them.

I haven’t actually witnessed anyone else actually doing that mowing yet, so I haven’t been able to tell if there’s a special trick to avoid a fatal rollover.

Maybe it’s done in the middle of the night, so newbies can’t catch on to the secret.

And it’s not that I don’t understand the concept of mowing across an incline, either–or mowing down a hill instead of trying to push or pull the machine uphill (though once you’re down, you do need to get back up).

I’ve decided that perhaps it’s a test–a right of passage, if you will–to see if the amateur hill-mower can withstand the rigors of the job.

Those who don’t make it are forced to either hire someone to reclaim their machine from the lake and try again or give it up and go back whence they came.

Well, my first try isn’t pretty–the diagonal pattern isn’t as perfectly executed as that of my neighbors–but the random tufts and missed spots are few, and I even got the whole thing done before the battery on the electric mower quit completely.

Then, sweating and heaving, I got that thing back up the hill, plugged it in, and prayed for snow.

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