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Ready to Chill
I am a tiller of the earth!
I am one with the soil!
That is to say, I just spent the last hour or so after work on Thursday mowing my lawn.
Feel free to remind me that I said this in August when I’m complaining about it, but so far I like mowing my new lawn. I’m sure there’s a certain amount of honeymoon period going on here, but there’s also some key things that work for me.
A simple clearly defined objective, with very little friction to getting started. Check the weather. Is it going to rain today? If not, go to garage, open door, wheel lawnmower out, pop battery in, start mowing.
Bonus: I had to buy a new shiny thing to mow the lawn, because I have never actually owned one before. It is an exceptionally nice shiny thing that does not involve gas cans, funny smells, or trying to move extension cords around. Again: very little friction. Push button, mow.
I let the backyard go a little longer because no one can see it from the street, so I’m only doing either the front yard or the back at one time. Either takes about one hour, or a full discharge of the battery on my shiny thing.
Results are instantaneous and very visible. Grass was too long. Mow, mow, mow. Grass is not too long anymore. Bonus: those satisfying lines made by the lawnmower. Mine are getting straighter as I get more practice. Sort of. Mostly.
It counts as activity as far as the nagging Apple Watch on my wrist is concerned. Close those rings, baby.
You have to pay just enough attention that you can’t let your mind completely wander, so that a stray twig or rock doesn’t fly up at your face or jam your nice shiny thing. It’s kind of the perfect mindful activity.
Also bonus: apparently I’m slightly sensitive to something in freshly cut grass, since I do sneeze sometimes while I’m clearing cut grass from under the mower (gotta keep it shiny). So that means I am required by law to take a hot shower afterwards.
My friend Amy says that no beer tastes as good as the beer after you’ve finished mowing the lawn, and she’s definitely not wrong. But if you’d rather, I’ve got a great wine you should keep on hand for all your summer sippings.
I was super pleased to find L’Ecole No. 41 Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2020 at my new local wine shop the other day. I’ve actually been to this charming winery outside of Walla Walla, Washington, housed in a renovated school building built in 1870. (Walla Walla is by far the most fun wine region name to say.) These particular grapes are from the Yakima Valley, more in the middle of the state.
Chenin blanc originated in the Loire Valley, where it’s the grape in Vouvray. It’s also extremely popular in South Africa. This version from Washington is gorgeous gold and mildly honeysuckle on the nose. I got pear and a little lychee on the palate. With all this super bright acidity, it’d be a great aperitif on a hot day or a terrific match with sushi, mild cheese, cold shellfish salad, among other dishes.
I got this for about $15 at my local shop. At that price, now that most of us can actually have guests who just pop round, you should keep some of this chilled in the fridge for summer entertaining.
Or for just after a bit of mowing.
Wishing you all a weekend full of clear objectives and shiny things.