This may be the last grass that I mow this year. It’s going into the second week of November and the grass isn’t growing much anymore. I’ll miss making long even lines down my front and side yards with the push mower I bought back in 1995 when my ex-husband, Alan, and I moved out of Manhattan. I was the only one who ever walked (and sometimes ran) behind it. I loved mowing lawns. Alan did not. Maybe because he has managed to live his entire life without taking down a single blade of grass.
But mowing the lawn is also an exercise in nostalgia for me. It takes me back to my best lawn-mowing years (ages 14- 17) when I had to use a small electric hand mower to cut down nearly three acres of lawn. (My family had moved to a mini-farm in Indiana though our lawn equipment remained strictly suburban.) But there were some benefits to all the time I spent outdoors with an under-powered mower and a vast expanse of lawn ; I composed my first published story in my head during that time; the hero was a professional mower-of-lawns … of course.
Today is a beautiful day, wonderfully almost unnaturally warm. It’s perfect for lawn care and long walks. In fact, I took a long walk on the beach as well- with my new friend Laura. But Laura, alas, is closing her house up for the winter so I won’t see her ’til spring. I’d nearly forgotten that the North Fork, for many, is a seasonal place. Most of the people I’ve met so far are farmers and winemakers and service repairman- all people who live full-time on the Fork. I can’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else for the next five months- though my friends all say to me, “Just wait and see.”