Written by Luke Eriksen, 3rd generation employee
I’m cutting the grass at my house, and like my grandfather always felt, it’s a good time for thinking. And there’s plenty of that going on these days… thinking about jobs, happiness, how “to make it” in today’s America. There’s still a lot of dreaming going on, but a helluva lot more people think it’s more of a nightmare I imagine than how my grandfather and his peers ever looked at it.
“Just leave me that patch over there,” he would order, pointing his finger across his backyard that sprawled downward for a few good acres. “I’ll let you boys do the rest.” My grandfather, or “Pop” as he was called, bought 40 acres in the mid-eighties and had his family build houses on it. Sure, the acreage was for toys, but I really think for my grandfather it was more for mowing… his favorite hobby it seemed.
My dad loves to tell the story of looking out our window one Sunday afternoon to find me on Pop’s great big farm tractor with a solid 15-foot mower deck. At the mere age of 8 or 9 I sat high in the seat as Pop directed along. From the time I was 6, we had wood blocks under the tractor seats to skip the weight limit so the motor would start for all us kids, a giant wood block to extend the clutch petal to our feet.
Every weekend my cousin Andrew and I would mow and mow those fields. Put in a solid days work, and the big deal was always coming in at the end of the day to my Pop’s house for a Klondike bar and soda. Two things you couldn’t escape his house without; even if you tried.
I didn’t think anything of it then, and it took me a good 20 years after to really get the preciousness and trust of the whole thing. Letting really young kids take care of your yard.
But back to thinking…
I’m mowing my yard today, much smaller, and by push no less with a helluva hill. So I’m breaking way more of a sweat than on the sit down tractors. I’m thinking about business, my family, bills, strategy, new ideas, and getting excited about my thoughts behind my dreams. I’ve realized why my Pop left some of those acres for himself even when he had plenty of help, and left a whole bunch more for us kids. We had to find time to think, reflect, put in more hard work, and then think again.
It sure wouldn’t be a bad idea for more people in this country to hop on their mowers at home and give it a try.