The temperature was rather warm when I put the riding mower (is there any other kind?) in gear this afternoon and headed out front to cut the grass that the rain keeps bringing up for me. I’d just cut maybe three days ago, but it was definitely time to cut again. As I drove along the edge of the lawn, I slowed to admire the cotton plants growing in the field beside us. Big blooms waved in the breeze. Obviously the daily rain was growing that cotton, too, not just my grass. It was practically jumping up.
The cotton flowers reminded me that I’d seen some pretty peppers on the plants a few days ago, so I veered off at an angle to go look at them and see if they were ready to gather. I was still cutting grass, so it didn’t really matter if I cut in straight, layered swaths or not. It would all get cut eventually. Cutting the grass in a geometrical pattern is not one of the goals of my life. The peppers were progressing but I left them to grow another day or so. I drove off to the front to work there for a while, deciding to cut straight paths at least in the front section of the yard. I carefully lined the tractor up with the road and shifted into gear.
Already the big sycamore leaves are starting to fall as well as the smaller dogwood leaves. I cut by the maples and on down toward the magnolia when the grapevine practically jumped out in front of me. How could I have forgotten the ripe grapes? Once again, my straight path had a major curve in it as I detoured toward the grapevine. I braked beside it and filled my left hand with sweet, black grapes to eat as I worked. Cutting and spitting seeds, I made fairly straight rows until I ran out of grapes and then the mower just automatically swerved toward the loaded vine again. By this time, my hands were sticky and so was the steering wheel, but I really didn’t care. The grapes were excellent. All connoisseurs of grapes know that the blacker they are, the sweeter, and these were ebony. Forget about smelling the roses; I was eating grapes.
As I turned back toward the opposite side of the yard with my hand full again, I saw the dark cloud across the field in the direction of Baxley. That cloud was almost as black as my grapes, and I was a bit disconcerted. Was it funnel-shaped? It looked like a funnel to me. The wind had picked up and was snatching leaves from the trees and throwing them onto the lawn where I’d already cut. I could almost feel raindrops on my face because the smell of rain engulfed me.
“Maybe I can at least cut the front before the rain comes,” I said out loud, spitting seeds into the grass.
I consciously cut back on my dawdling and sped up the mower. Soon the front was cut, even relatively straight, except by the grapevine. It didn’t matter to me and no one else could see that area from the road. Before I headed off to cut the back and sides, I decided to cut by the mailbox. I’ve been pleased that the morning glories are climbing prettily on the mail box post. They’ve finally chosen to climb a place where we don’t try to stop them. Constantly we fight to keep them out of the garden and the flower beds. It’s a never-ending struggle, and they usually come right back anyway. Out front they are delightful.
I cut carefully around the flowers and checked both ways several time so I could cross Buck Head Race Way back to the safety of my freshly cut front yard. The cloud cover was heavy now, but still no rain. The rain appeared to be coming from all directions, and I was sure I’d have to run for the house any minute, but bravely I cut some more. Soon the grass was completely cut, and I can’t remember any time when I’ve enjoyed that task more. There’s something to be said for grass cutting in a threatening thunder storm. I wonder if those grapes were fermented?