• Erica Koser

Try Something New

Last night, I decided to try something new. It was way out of my comfort zone. You see, I was born into a family that is great at conversing, emoting, planning, organizing and strategizing- but not real into hard physical labor.

Growing up if there was a project to be done, a house repair etc, more often than not, we called in someone with some expertise. Then I left home and married Bob the Builder and had 3 mini Bob the Builder sons. Help is only called if the task at hand requires equipment we can’t buy, rent, or borrow; it requires true expertise (think redoing wires on the electrical pole), or there is a time constraint that can’t be met. My brood of builder Bob’s love machines, projects, puzzles, and sharing the stories of their many scars - each one a badge of honor from a project once tackled.


This fall, middle son is getting married. Living on a hobby farm with a big red barn, it was a logical choice to decide that the wedding ceremony should be held in our barn. Its gothic style hayloft is more beautiful than many church sanctuaries and for my boy who is a bit of a homebody, getting married at home seemed perfect. Cue the builders- my spouse decided that it would be really beautiful ( and he is not wrong) to remove, plane, and re-install the old fir tongue and groove flooring on the barn floor. He started the project in mid winter and he has spent countless hours this summer working on it. The end is in sight (thank the lord, the wedding is in October) but this project has proven to be all consuming.


Okay- I am finally getting to the new thing I tried. So builder spouse has been busy, busy all summer. I have helped a little here and there- mostly as a glorified gopher, but it isn’t in my DNA and I have to really stretch to motivate myself to jump in. However, we also have a 5 acre farm that requires tending. So tonight I decided to tackle mowing the grass.


Now this might not seem like a very risky move. How hard can it be to mow a lawn? Well, let me tell you- it was risky and it is way harder than it looks! We have a zero turn lawn mower. The kind that you use a joystick to drive. (Remember that family of origin I mentioned? We weren’t into video games either ;). At the coaxing of Bob the Builder, I have tried a few driving lessons and every time have said, that is not for me. So what changed today? Well I knew it needed to get done, I knew my spouse didn’t have the time and truth be told, I was tired of being intimidated by a machine. I am a smart, capable woman- it takes a whole lot to scare me- so bring it ya big red lawn mower.


It brought it. To begin with, zero turn mowers are designed for dudes. In theory you sit on the seat and your feet rest comfortably in front of you on the slanted metal floor. Not so much the case when you are only 5’4”. I cannot even tell you how many times I had to push back into the seat as I slowly slid forward. Also, did you know that yards are full of trees and jumping frogs and barn cats and lounge chairs not to mention sticks, pinecones and itch weed? And did you know that when using a joystick to drive a BIG red lawn mower these obstacles appear out of nowhere because you are too busy trying to get the machine moving in the direction you are willing it to go? Needless to say, my adventure was equal parts laughter, swear words, and glorified bumper cars. Those lawns that you pass that are neatly checkered and cut to perfection? My lawn is a little more swirly and curvy (dare I say artistic?) because I couldn’t have mowed in a straight line to save my soul. But I did it. Nothing was permanently damaged. Most of the grass got cut.


Why did I deem this silly recounting blog worthy? I am not entirely sure- other than to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone a little. For me it helped that there were no builder Bob’s on site to tell me how I should be doing it, and it might work better if I…. I just did it. I did it! And I will likely even do it again because now I might have some idea of what I am actually doing. So find that thing- that thing that scares you, that challenges you, that you have said to yourself you can’t do, and try. It could end in an epic failure- but my friends, that is how we learn.



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