I don’t remember the first time I mowed our yard, but it must have been sometime in the spring of 1988.

Today was maybe the last.

That’s hundreds of mows in the interim, all — with a few minor exceptions when I was very pregnant or otherwise indisposed — executed by yours truly and an assortment of clunky machines. I was glad to be rid of the gasoline-powered rig, pleased to finesse the power cord.

I can’t say it’s been a chore I’ve cherished, but there has always been something satisfying about the indisputably finished product. The sudden clean-shaven order that emerges from our slightly shabby fifth of an acre, coming right up next to respectable. I could point to the effort with satisfaction, knowing I wasn’t the only one who knew work had been done.

Not much else in my life has ever been like that, so I’ve always appreciated that aspect of mowing. Kind of like painting: immediate visible results, however time-limited.

But today might have been the last pass. We go to settlement in less than a week and while we’ll still be clearing out the house for a while yet, I might dodge the next mow bullet. We’ll see; it will depend on the rain.

So I tried to savor this mow, if such a thing is possible. To feel the engine’s churn, the singular scratch of cut grass on the back of my throat, the sun on my hatted head as I swept the drying blades from the slate.

I put some extra effort into the trimming and raked the curb clean. It felt good to honor the process, a little bit of respect to the place we’ve called home all these many mowing seasons.

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