By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

 An old memory came back and revisited me while mowing the lawn recently.
 It was a lesson-building memory which I never forgot and enjoy rehearsing.
Rewind with me:
We'd been married a short while ... less than two years.
Scot was working long hours as a ranch-hand and I was occupied with our beautiful little son Joshua.
We were living in Faribault County, Minnesota at the time and situated in a lovely, large remodeled farmhouse which was part of our financial compensation.
The lawn was massive and mowing was a task and a half.
Our meager money allowance barely supported a push mower so that's what we bought. A push mower ... and a healthy body to push it.
What more can a body ask for? Ha.
Desirous of pleasing my husband and tending to the "extras" was a personal goal of mine. I wanted the massive lawn to be taken care of for him even though he insisted it wasn't a woman's job and it was too much for me.
The thankful gleam in his eye upon seeing a well-shaven lawn after putting in a long day's work was an ample reward for me. Scot loved it when the mowing was done and thanked me wonderfully each time it happened.
His approval was gratifying.
Push-mowing was a 5 to 6 hour job on the plantation (ha) with the driveway shoulders thrown in and something I could do for him.
The remembrance of it is both sweet and sweaty.
The hours were long that first Spring and Scot was working hard to complete planting. I laid Joshua (6 months) down for a nap and set myself to mowing the lawn. It was a blazing hot day and the conditions involved extra humidity.
Somewhere in that day or evening and, with Joshua out in the playpen and under the shade-tree in part of it, a car came driving down the drive.
I wasn't expecting anyone and I was a wee bit ashamed at how sweaty and grimy I knew I looked. I shut the mower off and of all people ... realized my in-laws had come for an unannounced and unexpected visit.
I was mortified.
I looked awful!
Note to self: This is mean and cruel behavior and something In-law parents should NOT do to their new family members.
In any event ...I still remember it like yesterday.
My quiet, intimidating, strong, and large-framed Father-in-law got out of the car and began to walk around the large beautiful lawn I'd just completed and studied the entire thing.
He shook his head in amazement, looked at me carefully, and said,
"Did you do all of this yourself?"
"Yes," I stammered, a wee bit unsure of myself and questioning the thoughts running through his head.
I needn't have worried ...
"It's really something. I bet Scot really appreciates it after a long day's work. You did an amazing job, Darrelyn," he said.
He gave me a big hug and continued to study the lawn over a glass of lemonade.
Hmmm ...
Later that evening when my husband arrived home and after his folks had left, he commended me and spoke a beautiful compliment to me.
"If you ever wanted to make an unforgettable and favorable impression on my Dad, Darling, you just did," he said. "My Dad values hard work more than anything and he knows a good woman when he sees one. He'll never forget."
Hmmm ...
True to my husband's words, my Father-in-law rehearsed the memory of that day to others and to me many times over.
He never forgot.
Indeed, I believe that this early memory encouraged a favorable financial investment in us several years later when we looked to purchase a farm of our own and needed help.
He was only too happy to invest.
Times have changed and my Father-in-law is no longer with us.
I miss him but his memory remains ever dear to me and, in mowing the lawn, the simple memory comes back so beautifully to me.
Work hard like no one's watching and do it consistently.
Some of life's greatest lessons are learned in ordinary moments and in ordinary ways.
Ordinary moments that turn extraordinary ... and we just never know.
Who knows but maybe this day.
Ordinary to Extraordinary.
"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra."
-Jimmy Johnson