Don’t Fence Me In?

I have a moral dilemma that involves grass — the legal kind.

My Dad’s knees are not good, so I mow the grass at my parents’ place every week during the growing season. Actually, that’s not the whole truth of it. Better to say that Dad’s knees are bad and I used that as an excuse to talk him out of mowing the lawn, because I love mowing it.

In Lynden, lawns are kind of a big deal. A well kept lawn is a sign of Republican virtue and perhaps divine election. Every time I mow the lawn (“Every. Time.” Dad recently observed.) one of the next door neighbors mows his ASAP.

He has his reasons for doing so and I won’t speculate. He’s a fairly private man. But the neighbors on the other side — a couple with children — are a different story. We’re friendly with them and I think they still go to Dad’s church.

And whenever I mow past their yard on the first pass I think, Maybe I should mow their front yard as well. I’ve mowed it a few times in the past when they were away for some reason, yet I hesitate to do so when they’re in town.

I hesitate because if in the normal course of things someone mowed my parents’ lawn, it would annoy me. If it happened too often, I might even make an issue out of it. That’s my own thing that I like doing.

I’ve thought maybe I should knock on their door and say, “I’m mowing our front yard. Would you mind if I did yours while I’m at it?” But it seems like an awkward thing to ask.

One other idea would be to just do it and explain, if asked, that I accidentally mowed into their yard and didn’t want to leave it uneven. Given the fenceless, fuzzy property line between the houses, that would even technically be true.


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