As I get older – as Dad explains it – my mind tends to shut down until it’s comfortable with focusing on just one thing, instead of 20. For the most part I can deal with this theory of his until I start doing stupid things like trying to start my car with the house key or attempt to put the cake in the refrigerator, instead of the oven.

As I get older – as Dad explains it – my mind tends to shut down until it’s comfortable with focusing on just one thing, instead of 20. For the most part I can deal with this theory of his until I start doing stupid things like trying to start my car with the house key or attempt to put the cake in the refrigerator, instead of the oven.

It seems to get worse when I’m under pressure to learn something new. Just the other day my boyfriend decided I should learn how to mow what he calls “the yard.” With 10 acres of grass, “the yard” is the invisible line that is drawn between what is mowed with the faster-than-the-speed-of-light mower and the tractor. The mowing lines in “the yard” have to be straight and sometimes even diagonal. Since the closest neighbors aren’t close enough to be shouting distance from, I’m not sure why this grass needs special treatment with fertilizer and precise mowing. Guess it’s a guy thing.

With an out-of-town trip approaching he realized more time was going to lapse between the regular scheduled mowings, so the decision was made to teach me how to mow “the yard.” Apparently, even though I feel I have mastered mowing with the tractor, cutting the “yard” is somewhat of an art and under no circumstances should the yard ever have clumps from lack of mowing in a timely manner.

At first I thought he was going to chart it out on paper – like a flight pattern for grass mowing. Finally he cut the pattern in the yard that I was supposed to follow. Diagonal in the front and back, east to west on the sides. He showed me the proper way to turn, because his fancy dancy mower is a zero turn and adds to the perfect patterns – not like the huge turns I take with the tractor. The grass has to shoot out on the side that’s already been mowed, certain instructions apply when mowing around the trees and above all else - mow in straight lines.

He insisted on watching me for a couple of laps, even though I tried to convince him that this wasn’t rocket science and I’m sure I could handle it. I even decided not to listen to my headphones at the same time – so I could pay close attention.

As I completed the first lap I could see him out of the corner of my eye and he was waving his arms to and fro. I thought he was complaining that I wasn’t going in straight lines. I passed him by and made another lap, all the while his arms started moving faster and he even looked like he might be jumping up and down. I came to halt, ready to debate my straight-line mowing.

Apparently, I forgot to turn the blades on. “Practice run,” I said, trying to convince him with a smile. With a bewildered look, he simply turned around and walked back to the house.

Like President Truman once said, “if you can’t convince ‘em, confuse ‘em.”