Lawn care and civil responsibility

There is a connection between your patriotism and how you maintain your home lawn. So get out there and make the lawn look great. It’s Baseball, Mom, Apple Pie AND Lawn Care in America. Don’t be a schlepper.

By Ray Hanania

RayHanania155x130Ever since I started to focus on my health, I started wearing a Fitbit watch on my right hand which tracks, among many health related things, my heart rate and how many steps I take each day.

The average is 12,000, which is great and helps keep you healthy. But mowing the lawn is, for me anyway, almost 7,000 steps. That’s a lot of lawn.

Mowing your lawn is healthy, but it goes way beyond that for most baby boomers. It is about morality. Righteousness. And the American way! (Yes, Superman did mow his own lawn.)

It’s a matter of self-respect, something I learned from my dad. Mowing your lawn is about self-respect and pride. When you mow your lawn, trim it and keep it nice and clean, you are showing that you care about yourself and your country.

Much like people who are kind to small animals are basically good, while the rest are terrible monsters.

My dad believed that keeping your home property looking great was not only a message to the neighbors that we were a moral and righteous family, but that we also had respect for things in life, including our neighborhood.

The home wasn’t just a possession. It was a commitment to life and it required attention and care.

English: Reel lawn mower

English: Reel lawn mower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know occasionally my lawn can grow and look a little wild, but only because I might be away for more than a week during the summer. But you can see the homes were homeowners just don’t care, don’t have much respect for themselves or for their neighbors either.

Their lawns look like forests, with grass growing as high as 12 inches, and dandelions creating scene from the Wizard of Oz. It’s all the time. A mess. An eyesore. They just don’t care and that really offends me. You can’t mow your lawn?

Some communities have fines for people who don’t mow their lawns and let them grow like hair at a Metallica concert. The city of Massapequa Park in New York take lawns seriously, so much so you could face a thousand dollar fine for the first offense and $10,000 for the second. In Texas, a homeowner was jailed.

You can’t use the excuse that you are growing wetlands on your property or prairies to compliment the environment.

To baby boomers who have been raised with this hardline commitment to self-respect morality, caring for the lawn is an obligation, just like being the father of a family, and to your children.

It does have some problems though, like when two baby boomers are living next door to each other and their lawns “merge.” Battles ensue over whose mower wandered past the property line.

Arguments rage over how to cut your lawn. Do you mow from side to side, or do you mow at an angle? The people who mow at an angle think they are better than everyone else.

Oops. Isn’t that the whole point?

Lawn mowing is more than just a profession for young kids. It’s an art form. I mow the lawn – the pattern is almost always the same. I trim the lawn along the sidewalks, house, gardens, where the edge of the lawnmower can’t really cut.

I even cut a gutter along the sidewalk, giving the lawn a carpet-like appearance.

So get out there Saturday and mow your lawn. Don’t be a neighborhood schlepper. Because for some of us Amer-kins, it’s “Baseball, Mom, Apple Pie and lawn care.”

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. Reach him at [email protected])

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Blogger, Columnist at Illinois News Network Online
Ray Hanania is senior blogger for the Illinois News Network news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley). And, Hanania is a stubborn and loud critic of the biased mainstream American news media.

Hanania Chicago political beats and Chicago City Hall at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published the The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. He currently is syndicated through Creators Syndicate. He has written for the Jerusalem Post,, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star of Lebanon, the News of the World in London, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, The Saudi Gazette, the Arab News in Jeddah, and Aramco Magazine.

Hanania's Chicagoland columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald, the Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News and the Palos Reporter newspapers.

He is President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

His personal website is Email him at: [email protected]
Ray Hanania

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