I smelled the scent of fresh cut grass just the other day. I love that smell this time of year. But I remember a time in my youth when I grew very tired of it. I must have been about 12 or 13 when I started spending large parts of my summers cutting grass to earn a little spending money. It all started innocently enough. I was just going to cut our yard and my grandmothers yard…then Mrs. Price wanted me to cut hers, then Stanley, then Mrs. Chesson… the list kept getting longer and longer.
All of these people lived within about a 4 block area in Elizabeth City… over in the Broad Street area. I really like that neighborhood. It was somewhat like a mill village except each house was unique. The lots were only 50 feet wide and about 200 ft deep. So you could cut a yard pretty quick. I don’t remember the maximum number of yards I had to cut at one time, but I always tried to do them all on Friday and Saturday. You know how it is.. it was important that I have off as much of the week as possible to do… well basically nothing. Apparently I had a lot of nothing to do then because I really would hustle to be sure my grass cutting didn’t spill over into my “do nothing” time.
So Friday and Saturday mornings, I would get up as early as I could to get started cutting grass. I would start out at my grandmothers with a full can of gas and lots of energy. It would be so hot and humid some days I would feel like I was just melting away. By the time I finished, it would almost be completely dark and the gas can.. and myself… would be completely empty. The smell of fresh cut grass wasn’t quite so sweet anymore. I could hardly wait for fall to arrive so I could quit.
But looking back, what a great feeling it was, walking back past all of these neatly cut lawns, totally exhausted from a full days work, a little money in my pocket… and five full days of “do nothing” time to fill before I had to face it all again.