Autumn has arrived with all its wonders. The air is fresh with little to no humidity, my garden has given the last of its bounty, and the leaves of the trees are starting to give a glimpse of the colors that are destined to explode around us. Now if my lawn would finally get the hint and stop growing I could be a happy camper.

Every five days since my yard went from frozen tundra to basically a hay field I have faithfully mowed it down so I wouldn’t become the bum of the neighborhood. I kept it as short as possible in fear the dandelions would change the scene from green to yellow and I had a chance of not getting any of the many sicknesses the bugs of the ground promised to inflict. In other words, I’ve been a good soldier.

The dog days of August used to give me a reprieve from the agony of attempting to keep up with the green carpet that surrounds my home. I used to love these days with my lawn turning a wonder brownish tan and the only thing that grew was a phantom weed that must have evolved from deep in the Sahara Dessert. I used to love those days.With the warming of our planet and the inevitable El Nino that meteorologists use to predict every seven or so years the grasses of my lawn have been perpetually watered and even though I attempt not to allow any fertilizer to touch my property, with the exception of some dog dung my neighbors refuse to pick up, the height and green of my lawn continues to continue.

Going into the month of October, I am seen opening my garage door in order to pull out my small hand mower and my tractor that used to promise an easier mow but now leaves mounds of wet and cut green slime that forms little mounds throughout my yard. The last time I mowed I swear I hard a little cry from the smaller of my mowers begging me to leave it alone so it could hide in the corner of my garage not to be seen until the wet and warm weather of spring.

My larger tractor handled this problem in a different fashion. For some odd and unknown reason it locked it’s wheels as I attempted to roll it out of my garage. At first I was shocked because after all the machine was simply a machine and had no to little capacity to make up its own minds. Then I though of how I would feel after a spring and summer of attempting to cut through a rain forest type field that promised to kill any mechanical entity placed before it.

After I coaxed all of my machines out of their home I attempted to check the oil or what I like to call the blood of the machines. All seemed fine the first time. Since I always double check myself I was surprised my second observation showed no oil in their crankcases. I had no clue as to what to think other than I was in the

process of seizing anything that could help me through my task. I checked it the third time to discover all was up to level. My mind’s eye then assumed the machine I checked was literally holding its breath in hopes I would not ask it to strain its way through a process that should have ended by the end of September.

I then psyched myself up in the knowledge for the next four hours I would be, first walking underneath my tress, with the branches attempted to behead me, pushing through my swale in the hopes I would angle all the water of the rains of autumn and the snows of winter under the drain and deposit someplace I have no clue as to where it is, and possibly make my property look as though I had a concept of what it should look like.

At first both lawnmowers would not start. Did I expect anything else? After priming both machines to the point they wanted to puke excess fuel the finally started. For the next four hours it was man vs. machine vs. the weed called grass. I finally made it through the day, placed my soon to be dying machines back into the garage at which time they immediately went into some kind of coma hoping the snows of winter would arrive with my soon to be unhappy snow blower taking over their responsibility.

In total exhaustion I limped toward my small refrigerator in my basement hoping I would find some beer. I was thrilled to see there were still a couple left. Meandering out to my deck I sat down and opened what I hoped would be total ecstasy. Have I ever discussed how frozen beers can stress one out?

When will my lawn stop growing? By Jim Fabiano.

Jim Fabiano is a retired teacher and writer living in York, Maine

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