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Out On The Mudline

Grass Cutting: Business For Some Chore For Most

By Bill Sissell

Lawn Mowers And Dallas Grass

I spent part of yesterday and most of the morning engaged with our lawn. I think I finally got the first cutting done in time.  Ordinarily I put that first one off so long that I get mountains of grass.

Found that the wonderful little dog that is very smart spends a lot of his time digging for moles, mice and shrews. Yes, we do have them in this part of the country—usually only the short tailed one. I’ve found a number in the pool over the years. I never heard of the shrew until Dr. McGaha introduced us to the little thing in his Field Zoology classes. Our hill top seems to be working alive with them.

Do you realize what a big business the keeping of our lawns is? One of my grandsons is in the lawn cutting business as a part of his income. Another of the grandsons is taking part in the John Deere School at Northwest Community College. In locating the business where he would do his Practicum, the John Deere dealer at Hernando said that they needed another person who was very interested in small engines for they had 4500 lawn mowers out and only one man to service them. Grandson Parker opted for the Clarksdale dealer where the main work is the large machines. Can you imagine a combine that is controlled by five or more computers? Parker has just finished rebuilding the mower I used today. Mr. Bill, I expect that Leslie Kemp would give him an “A”.

Learning “Miss Sadie’s” Way

Cutting the lawn has been a part of my life through the years. At the home out on the Mudline where I grew up, at first I helped mother –that is where I found out just how she wanted it done. It was a big (enormous to me) yard even though there were, as I remember, about a dozen trees around the front and side yards. It was shady most of the day, year round, for at least six of the trees were big Red Cedars and three were extra big Chinaberry. The choice of trees limited the leaf drop. We had very little problem with leaves. Most of my mother’s flower beds were lined with sand rock.

On those Sundays when we were having all the family out for  dinner, or the Garden Club or the Home Demonstration Club was meeting, that lawn got special attention. A lot of the grass was Dallas grass. Today I try to confine Dallas to the pastures. There are few mowers made that will not leave some of those Dallas stems. Ruth and I called those “scissors days” for we had to trim those rock beds as well as the entire lawn after the mowing with that brand new reel mower. When I got big enough to drive a tractor you can bet that I was on that tractor on those “scissors days.”

An Interesting Trip into the Old Ways

Several days ago, at the suggestion of Lee Rowsey, Nannette and I took a trip to a community East of Water Valley. We followed Highway 9W until it intersected Highway 9. At that point we turned north on Highway 9—looking for Randolph. My interest was whetted by the fact that several months ago when Parker and I went to Pontotoc to get fencing supplies, we saw an Amish man and his one horse cart plus two wheel trailer parked there in front of Moore’s.  Although we did not exactly find the Amish community, we did see the gin (used to be our competition when I was in Lafayette Gin) and when we got to Pontotoc we found, at the curb market—just off Highway 15, a brand new stocking of many fresh vegetables—Nannette got tomatoes (from New Mexico), cauliflower, a giant cucumber, a bag of sweet onions and a head of lettuce.

Lee found the building where they were making wagons (horse drawn).

Do have a great week—very shortly our entire landscape will be filled with leaves on trees with that great little chemical, chlorophyll, that captures the solar energy of the sun—for us and another of our feathered friends, the Martins, will arrive for their summer visit

Jimmy Baker just called to say that he had two Martin scouts today.  We are wondering whether the Cedar Waxwings will stop this year for an early flight of Robins almost cleaned our Hollies.

Oh yes, Shipp and Parker came in with their share of the lawn equipment yesterday—a John Deere  mower, sixty inch, all wheel  power steering, water cooled engine, quick-reverse—no less and they may not want granddaddy to run it (I should hope).  Thanks for the encouragements, we do appreciate them.  We are going to try to have a great week.

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