quality of life, and gas.
Subtitle: It's an Ill Wind Blows No Good
A couple years ago I bought a reel mower and mostly used it for a small section of yard next to the garage.
This spring I threw caution to the wind and have been using it on the rest of the yard. Don't know how I'll feel about it by September, but so far I like it.
It fits. I mow on my schedule, and when I pause with the mower I can chat with my wife, kids, or whoever happens to be walking by ("Is that a chocolate lab? Cool! How old?"). There's no sense of wastefulness when I stop to look around. Crocs or sandals, shorts, no earplugs...
The grass, true, would drive an OCD Lawnatic to violence, but I'm cool with that.
Several years ago I started riding to work instead of driving mostly to lose weight - I was sick of seeing my reflection in the plate glass window of the office. It was clear I had to change some things. I was prepared for some inconvenience in losing weight, but I did not expect a higher quality of life. As with the mower, there is more interaction with people, more appreciation of little things.
Ironically, it was an op-ed bit in Heavy Duty Trucking magazine that prompted me to drag out the reel mower. That and some friends from Sweden. Gas has been $4 or more over there for as long as I have been aware of it. But they aren't angry. They are frugal with their fuel. The HDT article was moaning about some pilot projects for commuting alternatives in Minneapolis ("Who rides bikes to work in Minneapolis - Wasteful!"), and yet Minneapolis has one of the highest per capita year round bicycle commuting rates in the US. Of course Stockholm's percentage is higher. And don't let's talk about Copenhagen.
Hmm, I wonder, what else do they do where gas is expensive? Maybe there's some stuff to learn.