Friday, April 06, 2007

Cutting Grass

It's Blackberry Winter here in Empire, Alabama. The sun was out today but the wind out of the northwest made it feel like late October. I'm thankful I didn't take lemon, orange, avocado and mango trees outside last week when the temps were in the upper 80's. Jilda said we haven't had Blackberry winter yet so if you don't want to lug those trees back inside, you better wait. It was good advice.
I did cut the grass today and it felt good to be out on the tractor. The smell of fresh cut grass always reminds me of the summer when I was 15. We had an old 1946 Chevy pickup that looked like it was on it's last leg but it cranked and ran and I operated a decent grass cutting business that summer.
Mrs. McMichen was my first customer. She was an English teacher at Dora High. Her mother and father lived across the road from me in West Pratt and they recommended me for the job.
She not only paid well, but she knew everyone of consequence in Dora and before I knew it, I had all the work I could handle.
By the time I made the rounds it was time to start all over again.
I didn't have a weed eater so I pulled the grass from the flowers and the sidewalk by hand. My friends thought I was crazy but for some reason I enjoyed being outside and smelling the scent of freshly cut clover. Even today when I'm doing yard work, I get lost. I don't think about the future, I don't think about the past, I'm simply in the moment and that feels good. Some of my best ideas come to me when I'm cutting grass.
Maybe when I retire in a few years I'll get me an old truck and do some commercial yard work and use the idea I get to write the great American novel.


  1. I just don't understand Blackberry Winter!! You are just going to have to explain this to me, seeing as I am a foreigner from another country where we do have winter and we do have blackberries but we do not have Blackberry Winters. Just damned cold ones sometimes.
    A Mystified Ms Soup

  2. Ms Soup, here in the south and in other regions of the U.S. Blackberry Winter is a cold spell that always hits in the spring when the blackberries are in blossom. Sometimes it is a mild cold front that comes through but there are other times when it gets cold enough to kill the young fruit. In April of 93, we had the largest snowfall I have ever seen here in Alabama.

    It must be fall where you live now. How is the weather there?


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