The young man who mowed for me last year moved away, so I found another lawn care service online a few weeks ago. He came to walk around my yard and give me an estimate, and he told me my former service cut the grass too low, and that was the reason my yard was now mostly weeds, not grass. He planned to wait a while before mowing, to give the grass time to grow, and indeed it, and the weeds, grew, and grew . . .
Last week, after all the rain, and still completely unmowed this season, there were spots in my yard that were knee high, and it was getting embarrassing. Finally last Wed. was his day to begin. But he didn’t come. It had rained hard the two or three days prior, and I reasoned that he was probably behind on his other yards and would get to mine in the next couple of days.
Friday I went out to lunch with friends and ran a few errands, and I returned home to see a mower just about to finish my lawn. Hooray! Finally! I pulled into my garage, closed it behind me, and went inside. The thought crossed my mind that I had not seen a truck out front, but, oh well, surely it was there, or maybe the truck dropped him off and was returning to pick him up.
I had not yet paid, so I expected him to come to the door for the check when he finished. But he didn’t come. And I still had heard no truck. And now I heard no mower or trimmer. In less than 10 minutes he had finished and left, without pay.
I emailed the lawn service owner and told him I would mail a check Sat. morning for this week’s service and for next time, which I did, as I headed out of town to an overnight church women retreat. When I arrived at the retreat center I had a voice mail from him, saying he would mow for me that morning. I quickly called him back. “Did you not mow my yard yesterday?” I asked him.
“No, I’m going to mow it this morning,” he responded.
“No need to mow it today,” I said and I told him the story.
By this time I had pieced together that it was likely a neighbor who mowed my grass, thus the missing truck. Was it someone who was tired of seeing the eyesore? Someone doing a good deed? Maybe both.
Then, oh my gosh, the thought of how extremely rude and unappreciative I must appear to him, having seen him mowing, and then closing my garage door, right there in front of him, without any kind of acknowledgement at all.
Sunday afternoon I returned home from the retreat, was greeted again by my neatly mowed grass, and knew I had to do all I could to find the person to thank. My neighbor across the street was outside, so I asked her first. No, they didn’t know anything about it, she said. I texted another neighbor. No, they didn’t do it. I walked up the street hoping to find others outside, but it was too hot a day for most people to be outside.
I noted though that most yards were needing to be mowed, and it was unlikely someone would have mowed mine before their own, so I knocked on the door of the one house where the lawn was cut like mine. They greeted me openly as if they had been expecting me. Yes, I had found the right house. I told them the whole story, and they laughed, likely relieved that I was not the unappreciative neighbor I had seemed. We talked for a while, and exchanged phone numbers, and I walked back home with a smile on my heart, for kind neighbors, for how friendships begin, and for a mystery solved.