good neighbor, community, responsibility, home

good neighbor, community, responsibility, home

We have now lived in the 9th House for almost one month and the realities of home ownership/stewardship have regularly required our full attention. This week we realized that our lawn was getting out of control. Our property has very little grass on it, but there are large strips beyond the sidewalks that trace two side of our large corner lot. The grass was above knee level and growing fast!

Yesterday Chiyona woke up early and searched for push mowers on her favorite website, craigslist. She found a gentleman in Wallingford who repaired and sold push lowers and made an appointment. We learned the difference between push mowers from 50 years ago and the ones you can buy today. We purchased an older modern that cut true and was fairly quiet, though the hard steel made it quite heavy. On the way home we grabbed an electric trimmer I could use to get the grass down to push mower height.

We got back to the house around 1:30pm and, except for a brief meeting with our new likely neighbors, I worked continuously until just after sunset. I have included pictures of the result. During my labors I met several folks including a massage therapist with a giant beast of a Lab/Mastif named Bear and a few neighbors out for walks. just as I was sweeping up after dust I was met by a man named Bow Tie who offered to help me finish. I took his number and suggested I might give him a call next time.

My muscles are sore from all the extra trimming, raking, and mowing that were required to take our wilderness lawn. I found “treasures” left by careless consumers of bottled juice, illicit baggies and clear evidence of dogs. What I found most valuable was the opportunity to connect with my new community, to invest in my property, and to provide a cleaner space for others to enjoy. As I swept the last fire clippings from the sidewalk I thought to myself that I would sweep this same grass off this same walk for years to come, and I felt a pride an deep satisfaction in fulfilling my responsibility as a good neighbor.

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