Thursday, 10 April 2014

A new season - an old problem

We never had much of a winter this year. At least it never got really cold and we never had snow. I’m really thankful for that I can’t cope when my car gets stuck on the drive and I feel trapped. It reminds me too much of those very early days, not coping, falling apart – days best forgotten but I know I never will entirely…

I much prefer spring with the daffodils blooming and the garden coming to life.

But as everything starts to grow again a fear starts to rise, a task lies ahead which fills me with dread. 

I know that all too soon the bright sunnier days combined with the inevitable wet weather will make the grass spring up.

We have no guinea pigs to nibble at it now, although I’d need a whole army of creatures to munch its way round my lawn.

There’s at least half an acre to mow but we do have a sit on mower so it really shouldn’t be a huge problem.

But every year I dread the day I have to start the tractor for the first time. It’s a reminder I am on my own, this is not supposed to be my job, I never wanted it to be. It’s the silly things that push you over the edge and make you crumble.

(A friend bought me this card year for last year’s anniversary just because it amused her.
She didn’t know that Andrew had a special cap which said “lawnmower operator”. He used to wear it when he cut the grass, looking a bit like this picture – although he never rode around shirtless. I still have the cap – it’s the only thing I have left which smells of him!)

Recently I’ve been waking up early, worried thoughts running through my head, what if this year the lawnmower doesn’t start, what if it gets stuck in the wet ground, what if it runs out of fuel, what if… what if…

My thoughts become more and more irrational as they invariably do in the small hours.

I’ve been putting it off but the house is on the market and I have to keep on top of things. Everything needs to look great for a perspective buyer. I can’t have a single thing to put them off and jeopardise a sale – see how easily my thoughts spiral.

As I said the other day my best friend is away this week and her husband is usually the man I call on to rescue me. My friend laughs as I flutter my eyelashes doing my best damsel in distress routine. I texted her to say I probably needed her husband’s assistance once more on their return.

Then I thought this is ridiculous!

I have cut the lawn before – this is now the fourth summer since Andrew died and the lawn mower has never been in better shape.

It had a new battery fitted last year and has been serviced. Andrew never took such good care of it but then he would have been able to manage if it broke down, well at least he wouldn’t have broken down alongside it in tears. He might have sworn a bit a lot though!

So with fresh resolve and a quick prayer I unlocked the garage, checked for fuel and started the engine.

Once I got going I wondered yet again why I worry so much. Why I let the little things paralyse me. I quite enjoy riding around making swirly patterns in the grass. 

And now I am certain everything is in working order I will once again pass the job over to oldest son who is more than capable of filling his father’s shoes. You can see from the photo above I only did the top lawn - his task is to finish the job tomorrow.

As I said we didn’t really have a winter but over those months I’ve stored up all my fears and worries. The unravelling threads have knotted like a tight ball in my stomach.

I doubt myself and my abilities; it’s probably why I’ve stopped blogging so much too. Confidence is a very fragile thing and I’m not quite sure what knocked it off balance somewhere at the start of the year.

But cutting the grass today by myself is a step forward, the house is on the market and things will change. 

Maybe slower than I’d sometimes like but perhaps in the end things are moving as fast as I can cope with!


  1. I love this post. You are so brave Sarah, I have driven tractors...but that was 30 years ago!! I loved reading your blog and seeing the pictures :) If Andrew could see you, he would have a huge smile from ear to ear!! :) xxx

    1. Didn't feel brave first thing this morning - now I wonder what all the fuss was about. Confidence is a funny old thing!

      Yes I think Andrew would be smiling too ;-)