Mowing with the kids is an excuse to get outside

Getting a grown-up job years ago meant a distinct reduction in the amount of time I got to spend outdoors. But now that my kids have started a business, I have another excuse to get outside.

I’m happiest when I’m outside. Out in the woods, with no walls around me and no roof over my head, other than the occasional canyon and the clouds or stars. When I can’t get up to the high country, a reasonable alternative is to at least just get out of the office or the house for a little while. Even just wandering around my pasture can lift my spirits, if I can’t get farther out of town.

The more time I spend outside, the happier I am. Even in the winter, when there’s a foot of snow on the ground, I enjoy hiking around my property. Sometimes I take the bow or the .22 and look for rabbits, and other times I pack the camera and see if I can snap a picture of some bird or other critter. Once in a while I just wander aimlessly. Being outside, in the fresh air, is all it takes to get my mind right.

When I can’t find an excuse to get outdoors, I start getting a grumpy. The longer I go without an outdoor excursion of some sort, the grumpier I get. That’s why my kids have no trouble enlisting my help when they need it for their lawn mowing business.

The boys started mowing lawns this summer. They’ve lined up a pretty good list of clients. They have enough lawns to keep them pretty busy on a normal week, but when their schedule gets interrupted by rain or other bad weather, they have to scramble to keep up. I’m more than happy to pitch in and help them when they’re playing catch-up.

Truth be told, I’d do it for free. My pay is getting outside for a few hours. But don’t tell them that. They think they have to pay me, and who am I to argue with that?