Why my grass is long…

If there’s one thing I miss about my hometown, it’s this:

It was never hard to get the grass cut.

That probably sounds a little weird.

When I still lived “down home”, I had neighbors and friends who knew me and my story. I had a church family that stepped in to help with things like this. I had uncles and cousins who showed up without asking (or begging).

Life changes. I now live 35 miles and a world away. I left the church because they were teaching my child to hate his grandmother and others. My grandparents are gone, and now there is emotional as well as physical distance between our extended family for reasons that don’t need shared.

When I had a full-time job and wasn’t living with chronic illness, it was of no consequence to keep a lawn guy on retainer.

Now, we’re struggling to make ends meet. My mom and Antonio are bending over backwards and working overtime to pay my bills as well as their own. The lawnmower we have (a small electric push-mower for my nearly-half-acre) died last year and is beyond repair. We can’t afford a new mower, but can’t really afford to put someone on retainer again either. No uncles or friends from church show up in the afternoon with their mowers to help anymore. No one asks if we need help because it looks from the outside like me and my mom are healthy working people who could push a heavy mower on our own. We aren’t friends with the neighbors. Antonio is the “man around here”, but he’s rarely here. Munchkin could probably be taught how to do it now, if we had a working mower.

We’ll get it figured out, I’m sure. We’re scouring Craigslist and Marketplace for used mowers. Once we find one, Mom and I can tag-team to get through it despite our physical challenges. Antonio is helping as much as he can. Something will come along for me job-wise that will make all this easier and give us some breathing room. I do still have a “village”; it’s just different now… little more digital than hands-on.

I used to hate how much everyone in my small hometown was always in my business.

But then again, I never had to worry about the grass getting cut.

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