Team Jones

The recent weather had encouraged our lawn to start growing like crazy. This time of year always brings out the best in the husbands of Calista Court. On a random weekend, they all wake up, sit straight up in their beds and know what has to be done. It’s like they are all programmed by some maniacal master puppeteer. Right after breakfast, they all appear moving about in rhythm on their lawns, back and forth, to and fro, manicuring little blades of grass. The funny part is that the blades will continue to grow and they will have to repeat this task again and again, but never with the same spirit as the first of the season. I loved watching this every year.

Steve loves his lawn and takes pride in it, like most men. The edges require a special touch, the bare spots get evaluated, the amount and frequency of rain becomes important and the children are encouraged to play in the back yard. The front yard is the work of art; the back yard is for family use. When I read the newspaper in the morning, I always check the weather to give my report and as we approach the weekend, we schedule our days around it. Of course, part of the weather checking is for Steve’s golf game. He doesn’t need to sacrifice more than one day of each weekend to the grass gods. He is a good golfer and enjoys getting up early and meeting the guys at the club for 18 holes. He is entitled to his exercise and is excused from church services. But the other day starts with the lawn. Steve even carved out a spot on the side yard that he mows a little lower that the rest and I noticed that he has started to chip golf balls back and forth next to the house. I’m sure the children would enjoy a real putting green to play mini-golf on, but he laughed at my suggestion.

After the lawn was manicured this week, Steven sat in the back yard with a cold beer. I made lemonade for the rest of us and brought a tray out so I could sit with him. We could still hear the buzzing of other mowers throughout the neighborhood. His arms looked a little light red and I wondered if he had gotten a little too much sun, but he seemed very content. The first lemonade of the season has a certain special sweet tang and I watched the children play tag with some of the neighbor kids in the yard. Life is a cycle of seasons, but spring brings a special feeling. Getting outside more often, smelling the freshly-mown grass, seeing the flowers bloom and noticing everyone else enjoy the same activities is part of our lives. Every year I watch this process for signs of change; Junior and Daisy look more grown up each year and I am slowing forgetting how adorable they were when little. I can still remember taking Daisy’s shoes off and letting her walk in the fresh grass for the first time. It must have been cold on her toes but she was running around and falling in it after only a short time. Junior found his first worm digging in the grass when he was just a few years old. The fact that he only had half of it in his hand worried me a little, but worms, like children gain resilience when they have new experiences.

I looked over at Steve and saw a quiet smile on his face. He has built a great life for us. When he finished his beer, he got up to put away his lawn equipment. I offered to help and we walked to the garage carrying the tools. I waited as he cleaned them off and stowed them away until next week. He has a very orderly set-up and I don’t ever move things around. When I asked him if there was anything I could do to help, he handed me his golf bag. It was heavy, but I slung the big carrying strap over my shoulder and balanced it against my hip. Steve grabbed some small towels and I followed him back to the back yard where we were sitting. He took the bag and propped it up against the chair. He handed me one of the towels and he took the other. He pulled out a club and handed it to me. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I watched as he took another club and started to use it to clean off the metal parts. ¬†Without talking, we sat and cleaned his clubs.

I surprised myself a little. I didn’t resent the fact that Steve just handed me his golf bag to carry. Or the fact that he just expected me to help him clean his clubs. We’re a team. Steve would help me anytime I asked him to around the inside of the house. I suppose I should just be glad that he trusted me with his clubs. I know they are important to him and they really weren’t very dirty anyway. ¬†After we finished all of them and they were safely back in the bag, Steve carried the clubs back to the car and packed them in the trunk. I stepped inside to start cooking and he joined me in the kitchen; Steve sat at the table reading the newspaper. I have always been a clean as you go cook, so as the dirty cooking equipment mounted up, I washed a few things and placed them up to dry on the dish rack. After the drainer was full, I walked over to the kitchenette and laid a fresh drying towel next to Steve. He took the hint and dried the dishes. What a guy; turns out we are a great team!

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