Grassy Noll

We’re really big on grass at our house.

To be more clear: we’re all about mowing grass, as in, on our lawn. In fact, mowing the lawn may well replace porch sitting as our new favorite warm weather activity.

I’ll explain, but first you need the back story. (oh, yes, you know you need it). It’ s not like we keep our lawn all perfectly manicured. It’s just that lawn mowing and grass have been a big part of our life.

When I was twenty years old I helped my boyfriend (yes, John) make handmade signs with little tear-off slips for the phone number to advertise his lawn mowing service. It was our idea for a great part time job.

Budding advertising genius, circa 1995. Oh please, like anyone looked cool in the 90s.

Much to our surprise, his little business took off. (Obviously it was the awesome hand-made signs) Soon he was mowing around 40 lawns, and he and his Dad kept up this business for several years, making it a great part time job for both of them. One time, we even had t-shirts made that said, “Grassy Noll Lawn Care” on them. It was big-time. I’m sure if we had just splurged for the car magnet, business would have really taken off.

When John started teaching, he had to cut down to five lawns, but it was still a great gig. In fact, when we were poor and had three tiny kids, the lawn mowing money often kept us from hitting rock bottom. No joke, there were times when we would drive around to see if one of the customer’s lawns was long enough to mow, because we really needed that 30 bucks. Don’t feel sorry for us–we both agree those were the glory days.

These days, John only has two customers left. Really they’re stragglers–two old people that we don’t have the heart to abandon. Honestly, I think if John told them he wasn’t going to mow their lawn, they might die. It’s almost charity at this point, too, because he hasn’t raised his price on them in about 10 years. But still, it’s great beer money.

Our kids are totally down with all the lawn talk, too. They are used to seeing John load up the back of the truck with the mowers, and if he’ s missing on a Saturday morning, they will say, “Where’s Daddy? Mowing Yards or at a Garage sale?” (John really likes garage sales. That’s an entire other post. He’s just awesome like that)

Speaking of John being awesome–yesterday when he picked me up for lunch he had a brand new old-fashioned push mower in the trunk of the car. One of the kind without any gas or electric–you just push it and the blades snip the grass, like a pair of scissors that you push across your lawn. The best part is, it’s really good exercise!

our new exercise machine

He spent the afternoon mowing our lawn with it and it looked great. Then last night we were all testing it out, even our kids in their pajamas and bare feet (yes, I know that’s not safe), and we ended up mowing the front lawn again, by default. But it was so much fun!

So this morning when we were getting ready for work, John asks, “what’s going on tonight? anything?” and I answered, “not a thing.” And then John says, so nonchalant, “We could mow the grass again.”

We do what we can to keep the fun alive at our house.


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2 responses to “Grassy Noll

  1. Kerri Hardin

    I didn’t know he mowed…him and Will can talk mowers sometime, ha. We have some kids over here obsessed with mowers and the like too!

  2. Um…If you guys wanna come mow our yard for some exercise, have at it. We’d be more than happy to contribute to your healthy lifestyle. 🙂