The grass is always greener — and tougher to mow — in a wet summer

Tuesday, July 18, and the summer (and some say, “What summer?”) is flying by. Note to young people: The older you become, the faster time goes; the next thing, it will be raking leaves and shoveling snow. If you are going to do anything that is sunshine related, do it now or it will be too late.

The Old Men of the Mountain met at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown. A contingent of OMOTM arrived at the same time at the Chuck Wagon and were standing outside in the early-morning mist, talking to each other for about 10 minutes before going inside to continue the conversation. It was eerie and nostalgic at the same time, that is, a group of old men standing in the mist of early morning just talking and laughing.

A recurrent conversation this summer is how often the lawns or yards have to be mowed, and how the weeds are taking over. The plants we want to grow are fussy — not enough water and the plant dries up, too much water and they wither and rot.

Weeds, on the other hand, grow like weeds in a drought, or with constant rain like this year. It makes no difference. One OF commented that it is beginning to look a lot like Ireland on the Hill because it is shimmering green.

The case for mowing the lawn brought out comments on the old TV show “Home Improvement with Tim Allen.” The OFs felt now is the time for jet-engine lawn mowers, or at least six-cylinder turbo-charged engines — not only so the OFs could cover more ground in a shorter period of time, but also zoom through higher, tougher grass.

One OF has a large lawn with few shrubs and trees that allows him to make passes of 200 feet or so. This OF swears that, when he starts back for a returning pass, the grass has already grown a couple of inches in the pass he has just mowed.

One OF (who takes a lot of the remarks seriously and misses the sarcasm or humor on many of the pronouncements the OFs utter) said that it is necessary to be careful how fast the OFs get the blades spinning because, if they go too fast, the lawnmower will become like a hydrofoil or Hovercraft and take off.

This OF said that lawn mowers are generally top heavy and will tip over easily causing the OF to get hurt. (Say what! Or is this OF just putting all of the other OFs on?)

Lost and found

The next topic is about a common phenomenon and age has nothing to do with it, neither does dementia or Alzheimer’s, nor even just plain forgetfulness. How many times does anyone set something down — quite often after just using it — something that they use all the time and then not be able to find it?

The OFs brought this up and mentioned hunting for the item until the OF’s hunter is sore. Eventually the OF said it becomes give-up time and the OF goes out to purchase another one, at which point, son-of-a-gun, the old one turns up in no time.

Of the stories told, one OF recounted a story about another OF who wears transition glasses. The OF said that they transition from light to dark almost instantly; however, the other way around, not so — going from light to dark, the lens takes it time.

This transition generally requires the wearer to either lift these glasses up, or take them off to find, for instance, a light switch inside a garage. This is the scenario that confronted the OF whom the second OF was telling the story on.

The OF pulled into his dark garage but it was still light outside so the lenses remained dark. The OF raised the glasses to find the light switch. Later on, the OF decided to put the glasses back on and could not find them. The OF hunted and his family hunted all over to no avail, no glasses.

After a week of no glasses, the OF finally decided to take his prescription and purchase another pair of transition-lens glasses.

The OF wore the new glasses for a couple of days and looked for the original pair, still to no avail. One day, he took the car and ran some errands; it was a bright sunny day (this had to be a year ago) and the lenses turned almost black.

When he pulled into the garage, the same thing happened. The OF had to remove his glasses to find the switch and, when he did this, the OF set the new transition glasses directly on top of his old ones!

The words here “raise” and “remove” are not the same thing. Habits can get anyone, not only OFs, into a lot of trouble. In this case, the habit is remove; the thought was raise.

The OFs said the most common situation for this happening is with tools. One OF said this happens so frequently he wonders if there has ever been a survey done on hunting for lost items that are not lost and how much time is spent doing this.

This OF said the worst time he remembered was when he was repairing some siding on one of his sheds. The OF said he had an apron full of nails, took a hammer and drove in a nail. He was distracted by his son who asked a simple quick question.

The OF said, after he answered his son, he took a nail and went to drive it in but — no hammer. The OF swore he never put it down, but he must have because he and the son looked all over and eventually found it on the ground under a sawhorse, and under a board that was on top of the hammer. Happens all the time!  The OFs do one thing and think they have done another.

Those Old Men of the Mountain who at least found their way to the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown and didn’t have to go hunting for the diner were: Bill Lichliter, his nephew Josh Buck, Roger Chapman, Pete Whitbeck, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Chuck Aelesio, Richard Frank, Wayne Gaul, Ted Feurer, Ted Lehermann, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Art Frament, Herb Sawotka, Joe Ketzer, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Herb Bahrmann, Gerry Irwin, Mace Porter, Glenn Patterson, Otis Lawyer, Mark Traver, Russ Pokorny, Warren Willsey, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Bob Lassome, Duane Wagonbaugh, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Elwood Vanderbilt, Roger Fairchild, Harold Grippen, and me, and I think I have written this.