Summer is officially here.

I say this, not because of the heat and humidity. And not because of the summer solstice.

We officially launched the season with our annual tradition: mowing over a garden hose.

Each summer our riding mower claims a few casualties. Most recently, Martin ushered in summer by slashing the hose we use to fill the sheep trough.  


If previous performance is any indicator, Martin tends to hack up the hoses, the kids’ toys and the dog’s tennis balls. Typically when he mows, you can expect a slew of plastic shrapnel sprayed across the yard.

But I’ve got a rap sheet, too. Not only have I killed a few hoses, but I’ve also mowed over the metal jump cups that hold the horse jumps together. I haphazardly toss the cups on the ground in the riding ring. Once the grass sprouts to calf height, the jump cups are lost in a sea of wavy green… until the mower finds them, and emits a horrible, teeth-rattling screech.

That’s when I raise the blade and make a bee-line for the house. There, I announce to Martin: “Something’s wrong with the lawn mower.”

As if the malfunction is a mystery.

Martin tips the machine on its side and studies the underbelly. “You bent the blade. How did you bend the blade?”

I feign innocence, ignorance, confusion. And later that evening, I sneak down to the ring to retrieve the mangled, metal evidence.

So now you know: Martin hacked a hose to ribbons.That means you can throw some dogs on the grill or head for the pool. It’s summertime.

And you know what else that means?

It’s almost time to put away the sleds, saucers and the Christmas tree stand.