I remember from school discussing classic forms of conflict. There was...
Man vs. Man
Man vs. Nature
Man vs. Himself
and I think there was one more, but I can't remember it right now, maybe Man vs. God.
This week I renewed my battle against nature in the form of my lawn and property. For the past two years we have paid for a local service to care for our lawn and tend to the bushes and such. The guy we first hired we found because he was doing the lawn next door. He did a good job, but there was something weird about his finances as he had a company name and invoices but wanted checks made out to his name. He lived in our neighborhood, but was apparently evicted from the house he lived in and it was sold at auction. He had moved to an adjoining neighborhood and continued servicing our lawn through Fall of '06.
Last Spring ('07) we went to contact him and found the house he had moved to was gone. The property was overgrown and there were signs that parts of the trees on the property had been charred. Very strange.
So, needing a new lawn service, I knew of another house in the neighborhood where a guy who owned a service lived, so we hired him and he was doing a good job too. Late last Summer he moved out from his wife/girfriend/whomever, but he had a local P.O. Box and continued to work our account. About 2 months ago he left a note in our mailbox to call when we wanted the Spring clean-up. I called about 4 weeks ago and got a cell-service message about the number being unavailable (not disconnected). We tried for about 2 weeks to no avail. We then went on our cruise and decided if we can't reach him, we need something because the yard was getting out of control.
I tried our lawnmower, a hand-me-down from my mom which I had not used in two years and could not get it to start. Rather than attempt repair or suffer repair costs, I decided to shop for a new one, knowing I could return the other one to my mom or otherwise dispose of it. Ultimately though, we would save money versus paying a service and I would get some exercise and be able to take some pride in the appearance of my yard.
So this week I went to the new Sears store that sells tools and appliances only and bought a Craftsman mower with a Briggs and Straton engine and on Friday I came home from work and had at it.
There is a wonderful new thing in the world of mowers called "self-propelled." It is still a push mower, but the engine has a transmission that drives from the front or rear wheels depending on the model and if you grasp a lever on the handle, the drive kicks in making it a TON easier to move over hills and slopes.
The front yard was not bad, and I cut it pretty short for the first cut of the year (scalping is what they call this). The back yard was a jungle! Weeds had sprouted in some instances as tall asa 3 feet high. You could lose a small person back there! Amy was concerned about the dog and the one cat that go out back that they could not "enjoy" the yard with it like that. Happy to say we cleaned up the majority of the trash (plastic containers, pieces of cardboard, etc) that Lucy had taken out back and I had at it. We can now see the entire yard in the back!
Yesterday when I got home I reclaimed a 6 foot section of the fence and part of the house itself that had been overrun by some vines that actually stuck (attached itself) to the siding and to the wood in the fence. In the next day or two (days I have off from work) I'll clean up the garage a bit and take a whack at the hedges with the electric clippers we were given by my father-in-law.
Pictures will come.