Ramblings: Summertime and the livin’ is easy

Posted 5/22/24

The song continues “fish are jumping and the cotton is high.”

Today the song would go something like “Summertime and the living ain’t easy, food costs are rising and …

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Ramblings: Summertime and the livin’ is easy


The song continues “fish are jumping and the cotton is high.”

Today the song would go something like “Summertime and the living ain’t easy, food costs are rising and mortgages are sky high.”

Some complain they were better off under the last administration, but I beg to differ on that. The tax breaks were for the wealthy, not for the average person, like you and me.

Four years ago, I could hardly make ends meet and I was working full time and collecting my Social Security. Now I am working part time and I have managed to even save some money. So even though prices are a little high, so is the minimum wage, which has proven to be a game-changer for many.

Businesses having to increase the minimum wage have had to increase prices of products and services in order to survive. But in the end we all are better for it.

Summertime is a lot different than in years past when we were all grateful for the warm sun after a cold, snowy winter. With climate change, which by the way the last administration said wasn’t real, our winters are much milder. As an example, when I moved into my mother’s house 11 years ago, I was buying 1,000 gallons of oil each year to heat my house. The last two years I have had to buy only 700, and my furnace is 50 years old. With a new, energy-efficient model I would probably use a lot less.

When I was younger I used to enjoy going to the beach to sunbathe, but as you age you realize the downside to tanning is wrinkles and you suddenly stop and enjoy air-conditioning.

Summer does have its drawbacks, like ticks, fleas on your pets, mosquitoes, snakes and grass cutting.

I have never been a fan of yard work, although I really didn’t mind cutting grass, but I haven’t done any for many years.

Before I moved to my mother’s, my neighbor, Terrence, used to cut my small yard and he would even clean my car of snow. He was an excellent neighbor and one I miss since moving.

My mother, after she retired, had a riding mower and would put on her straw hat and cut her own grass, which was 2-and-a-half lots. She did this until I guess the lawnmower died. She then found this young man who was just starting a lawn business.

He did the work himself and would always come in and visit with my mother. Their relationship lasted through his dating, marriage and the birth of three children.

When she passed away and I took over her house, I kept her yard guy. He was dependable, nice and planted trees for me and cleaned up my yard. However, as businesses grow, things change and he started hiring young helpers to do the grass.

Therein was the problem, service got worse until last year when the workers were in and out of my yard in 10 minutes. The guy who was supposed to trim took care of the driveway and the walk and left my house untrimmed.

My house became the one consumed by vines because no one trimmed around it. My carport disappeared along with my shed. This was all left for me to take care of, although I was charged weekly, even when sometimes my grass didn’t need trimming.

It’s like that TV ad where the old woman is stuffing her shirt with straw, running out to the field and propping herself on a wooden stand, yelling with all her might to scare away the birds, to become a live scarecrow. As the saying goes, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”

With that thought in mind, I fired my grass man and went to Home Depot and bought an electric push mower to cut around the house.

Realizing at 80 I needed a riding mower to cut the rest of my yard, I set out one day to search for a used mower because I knew a new mower would cost anywhere from $2,000 and up. God must have told me today was the day to find one, as I headed to Hurlock, then to Federalsburg and toward Preston, when I spied a mower sitting in a yard with a “For Sale” sign.

I pulled over to the side of the road and got out of the car, as a man headed toward me. The mower looked in really good condition and I knew it would cost more than I could afford, but I asked anyway. “$550,” he said. “It’s got a new battery and I just cut grass with it.” He started it up and rode it around for me.

Overjoyed at the find, I had saved just enough money, and I told him I would be back the next day to pay him and pick it up.

I asked my neighbor, George, who is an electrician and has a trailer, if he was available and could he help me out. Of course, he said he could. And that is what is so nice about having good neighbors - they are there when you need them.

And so last week I cut the entire yard on my new used riding mower and I loved every minute of my first cut. I think I am going to really enjoy cutting the grass. Now trimming might not be as much fun, but you have to do what you have to do. Life isn’t meant to be easy!

Editor’s note: Ms. Windsor is an independent writer and former Banner employee. Her comments and opinions do not reflect those of this publication. You can contact her at ramblings77@myyahoo.com.

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