Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt features boys engaged in the game of Pushball. The game never registered on my ancestors’ radar, so through a James Joycean stream of consciousness sort of way, I pushed the limits of my imagination to arrive at this:
I never saw my mother push a lawn mower, but this photo from her early college days at Shenandoah College and Conservatory in Dayton, Virginia shows she COULD maintain the yard if she had to.
But she never had to. For better or for worse, that was my dad’s domain.
|Fred Slade cutting the grass at 134 Gillis Road June 1969|
Dressed in his favorite tennis shorts and his dress shoes and socks, Daddy made quite the fashion statement out on the lawn. Nevertheless, he was faithful and focused on getting the job done. When it came to “curb-appeal,” nothing got in his way.
Not even the electric cord.
An electric mower was always much easier to start and convenient to maintain. You would think. However, Daddy was notorious for mowing right over the cord. It seems that every week he created drama with what should have been an ordinary task.
In fact, he was hard on every mower he ever owned. Once when he was without a mower, he borrowed one and managed to decapitate the thing when he mowed under the deck.
When Momma became sick in her later years, Daddy took up pushing the vacuum cleaner. There were some similarities in the task as he continued to vacuum over the cord and bump the furniture. Eventually the muscle memory of vacuuming carried over to mowing. Cutting the grass took twice as long as Daddy “vacuumed” the grass, pushing the mower forward and pulling it back repeatedly in the same spot rather than mowing in a straight line before making a u-turn to come back the full length.
It was both funny and frustrating to watch, yet there was no stopping him, not until he killed his last lawn mower. That is when we made him hang up his lawn-vacuuming shoes and turn the job over to a professional.
Please push your way over to Sepia Saturday for more stories and old photos.
© 2016, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.