Monday, May 25, 2020

Bob's Freedom Flight

When I moved in to this neighborhood, ten years ago, my neighbor Bob was always seen out in his yard. He mowed, he weed ate, he pruned trees, he painted. He would sometimes walk over with a disapproving look, stating that I had missed a spot in my own mowing. He would, to my chagrin, sneak over to spray my dandelions. Bob waged a never-ending war against dandelions, and my yard and my other neighbor, Mike's, were a cross for him to bear. Sometimes he invited us over, and showed us his leatherworking. Other times I brought him cookies or cake.

Slowly Bob became more forgetful, and developed COPD.  He doesn't really know us anymore.
These days he rarely ventures anywhere except in the companionship of his caretaker to get groceries. He is rarely in his yard, except to ride his beloved mower. This is one of his favorite things to do, and he loved mowing twice a week, whether the yard needed it or not. In a fit of generosity, he began to mow my yard. Attired in a button-down shirt, jeans, boots and a cowboy hat, he made his careful way up and down the yard. It was his one outing, although we were told that it took a lot out of him.

When I came home from backpacking this weekend, I heard the news. Bob had been mowing and had gone rogue. He started mowing other people's yards in the neighborhood, and then had ridden his mower several blocks to the drive-in restaurant to get a burger. This caused great concern to his caregiver and his grown children, who don't live here. As a result, Bob's mower keys were taken away. He could fall, I heard. It wasn't safe.

This made me really sad. Bob's car keys were taken away a couple of years ago, and now his favorite thing in the world to do is gone too. I know why this happened, but it still breaks my heart.

We aren't here for a long time. Get out while you can.


  1. What a happy/sad post. I pictured him riding him mower and decided to take a longer jaunt. That burger must have been fantastic. Aging sucks! Such a good reminder not to take life for granted. And now you have to add mowing back to your chore list.

  2. Poor guy. Getting old really is a bummer when your health starts deteriorating so much that you can't do the things that bring you pleasure.

    1. I agree. We are going to see if we can watch him while he mows.

  3. If there is a way to help him still mow, that would be great. I hope no one ever tries to 'keep me safe', I'd rather just go out doing what I love and living the way that brings me joy.

    1. I mowed part of his lswn, as you recall it is not small. We are going to suggest we watch him discreetly while he mows.

  4. Old age has few rewards for too many people. I like your idea of suggesting that you watch him mow discreetly.

    1. It doesn't look fun. But then I know a woman who is 87 who still climbs big hills. So that gives me hope.

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