Today is a lovely summer day. The temperature is warm, the sky is overcast but bright, and it is raining. It is a wonderful summer rain with thick raindrops, splashing down on big wide leaves making lots of noise. Today is one of the few days I have not awakened to the birds fighting over whose worm. No. Today my neighbor, mowing his lawn, awakens me.
Now why would my neighbor mow his lawn in the rain? I understand the desire to cut the grass. It has been warm and rainy since Saturday, which means that the grass is growing very quickly. It looks shabby. I would also like to mow or weed but not in the rain.
Growing up in Minnesota, where rain showers are always just passing by, we were taught that rain can make you sick and should be avoided. “Get out of the rain or you will catch your death of cold” as Grams used to say. I have often waited under an overhang for the rain to subside before running out to my car. In Minnesota, I did not own a raincoat or rubber boots. Alternatively, I was always ready for snow, Minnesotans take snow very seriously but rain, no, it’s just water.
On moving to Norway, I was taught that you cannot wait out west coast rain. It can rain for weeks without stopping so it is best just to ignore it. A few years ago it rained for 80 days straight in Bergen. You can’t stand under an overhang for 80 days. West coast Norwegians have a saying “There is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing”. I get that. However, that phrase pertains more to picnics and general mobility than yard work.
Here in Emden the rain is more like Minnesota rain. With the flat landscape, the rain is just passing through. We can wait it out. Cutting grass in the rain spreads disease say my lawnmower experts, same thing with weeding.
So why the big rush to cut the grass, neighbor? I have asked this question several times this morning and I can only find one answer. He must have obsessive compulsive disorder.