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October 15, 2021


On returning from a trip to Colorado I found that my grass had inconsiderately grown calf high. Knee high for short people. I have 6 acres but only mow 4. Acres that is.  It feels like the Ponderosa when it is your job.   I add some extra caffeine to my coffee and attack the land mass with a vengeance on my 72 inch mower.  I had just sharpened the blades and replaced both rear tires.  Feeling great achievement in the fresh rubber and the shiny edges I am sitting tall in the saddle cutting a wide swatch on my spread.  Not 10 minutes in my John Deere starts making a sound like your grand mother’s false teeth on a chilly morning amplified by a thousand.

With close inspection I surmise no grass is going down by this cutter today.  My son lives next door to me so I retrieve his 42 inch mower with a speed about half of mine and start crawling down the pasture like Forest Gump on weed.  I am slowly making laps back and forth wondering if I will die of old age before I am done. 

Suddenly I notice that the mower is no longer cutting the grass.  I stop and quickly discover that the mower deck belt was broke. (Ladies a mower deck belt is the thingy that wraps around the pulleys on the motor and the mower blades thereby turning the blades and cutting the grass.)  At this point I am googling for new cuss words as I had used up all the vulgar utterances in my vocabulary and I hate to repeat myself.   

I call my son who says I’ll be right over with a new belt.  In 5 minutes he shows up with the belt and two of his grandsons, my great grandsons Carter 4 and Peyton 3.  Apparently, he thought we might need reinforcements.  We delve into the job for about 10 minutes when he says “Where are the boys” by now I was so into the job I had forgot the boys were here.  We look around and see Carter.  “Carter, where is your brother?” my son asks.  “He is in the house” was Carters reply.  Trusting the word of a 4 year old we go back to work.

Not five more minutes and Peyton is standing behind the glass door between my kitchen and the carport where we are working and he yells “I need help”.  My son is under the mower so he says, “will you check on him?”  

I open the door and find Peyton standing in front of the bathroom door with his jeans and Spiderman underwear at his ankles. He sees me, yells “I need help” and with no other explanation than that he bends over, puts his hands on the floor and points his tiny behind hole right at me like he is going to shoot jelly beans out of it.  Great Grandfathers are not supposed to have to polish off poop.  I had barely changed any diapers on my grands and probably only one time when my daughter was a baby.  Here I am with a real dis-ass-ter!  I look out the glass door to my son who is still under the mower.

How am I going to get out of this stinky mess? I am a Christian man and I know in times of catastrophe sometimes miracles happen, so I start praying for a woman to appear but God’s ears are deaf to my cries!   

I consider the results of telling my son to stop working on his mower that I broke mowing my lawn to wipe a butt.  I realize “I am going to have to do this myself!”  I hadn’t done anything like that since I was in my twenties!  Oh Lord why have you foresaken me?

Peyton who has been patiently holding his pointed position assumes I can’t reach him and moves his hands and feet dancing across the floor like a spider to draw nearer while pulling his feet and hands closer together raising his tiny hiny another 2 inches in the air my way.  He is doing this as if it is the most normal thing in the world without the slightest em-bare-ass-ment.  On the other hand, my eyes are rolling back in my head. My breath is getting shallow, and I don’t know whether to go for the Charmin or get a paper bag I can hyperventilate into.  

Wishing I was under the mower with the grass and grease.  I pull myself together with the self-talk –“You can do this Willoughby. You can do this! It is only poop.”  I grab the roll and attack the brown goo with fear and trepidation.  I quickly found out you can’t do that job with your eyes closed as I made the mess worse.  Peyton all the time is the picture of patience not even realizing that “Grandpa Wooby” is having a near death experience.  

I am proud to tell you that in less than 5 minutes I had heroically conquered the bottom breach with less than half a roll of toilet paper.  I am thinking I will get some kind of appreciation but to my chagrin Peyton nonchalantly pulls up his pants and walks off without even a thank you.  You would think this was just a normal everyday event!  

How ungrateful! Just happy to have clean cheeks he blissfully goes out to play while Grandpa is suffering PTSD.  I slump out to the carport emotionally wiped out and tell my son “I had to clean Peyton’s butt.”  I was expecting to hear something like, “Oh Dad, are you ok?  Do you need to talk about it?”  I get nothing but a grunt!  It was like it no battle had been won, no enemy defeated, no injury suffered.  Clearly, we are living in a day and age where people do not appreciate the sacrifice of others.  Anyway, thanks for letting me DUMP on you. It does help. 

So the moral of this story is to humble yourself like as a child, trust the Lord to clean up your crap and you can have a peaceful happy life.

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