Courage at Twilight: Emptying the Grass

The cut grass and Fall leaves from the riding mower shoots into two rear-mounted canvas bags, which Dad empties into a large plastic can lined with a plastic garbage bag.  He thumbs two holes into the sides of the plastic to vent the vacuum and allow the grass to sink and settle.  Mom ties the handles.  Together they lift the can, heavy and with wet grass clippings, and dump the bag into the large trash container, which goes to the curb on Sunday night for Monday morning pickup.  Several times, I lifted the heavy bag out of the can by myself, not to show off, but just to get it done—and I was strong enough to do it.  In the following weeks, I found Dad bagging the grass himself and wrestling the can up to dump the bag into the trash container.  I felt bad I had done it by myself and made him feel he needed to be able to do it by himself.  When I ask if I can help him, he says, “I got it.”  So, now I ask him to help me hoist the can up so we can share the effort of dumping the bag.  No matter one’s relative personal strength, collaboration is often the best solution for all involved, young and old, and middle-aged.

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