The Best And Worst 13th Birthday Gift Ever, Thanks, Dad

The Best And Worst 13th Birthday Gift Ever, Thanks, Dad

Happy Birthday, here's some yard work!
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Turning 13 is a milestone in everyone's life. You're finally considered a teenager and you've been waiting for that title since you were little. I don't remember a lot about my 13th birthday but I do remember the one gift I was dreading, a weed wacker. Now, I knew this was my inevitable future and after years of watching my sisters help cut the grass (they also suffered the same 13th birthday gift), it was my turn.

I don't remember how I felt the first time I was sent out to go weed wack but I'm assuming it was something like this:

I'm also assuming that my dad stood inside watching me like this:

Years later and I am 19 years old and still out there weed-whacking every spring-fall. Of course, I didn't get this wonderful gift without expecting some lessons to come along with it.

One thing I learned was that if you're going to do something, you might as well do it right the first time. When I first started weed wacking, it was hard. I have a pretty large, slightly hilly yard so walking up and down it in the summer heat wasn't fun (I mean it still isn't but I think I've become accustomed to it). I was tired, hot, and sick of lugging my weed wacker around so I'd sometimes "miss" a spot or two in hopes of finishing early.

Yeah, that never worked. Every time I tried to skip out on a tree or two my dad would immediately notice. I would hear his lawnmower pull up to the back door and hear it shut off and that's when I knew I wasn't off the hook. Although, sometimes I would attempt to hide in hopes that if he didn't see me he would forget about the tragic weed-ridden weeping willow in the front yard.

That never worked. I would always have to go back out there and finish the job I started. Now, I realized that I can still work fast and do a good job to get out of the heat. I just have to take some long strides in between trees.

Something else I learned was responsibility. I mean I had chores every day but those were always wildcards but I knew if I came home from school in the spring or fall and it was nice outside, I was going to weed wack. I learned how to prioritize my time if I wanted to hang out with friends. And I learned that, if I do an extra good job and it doesn't rain, I may have three or four days without weed-whacking instead of just two.

Yard work will never be my "chore of choice" but if I ever need to remind myself how to do hard work, catch me outside with my week wacker in hand and a look of despair on my face.

Cover Image Credit: Mark Wilnauer

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The Dangers Of Electric Scooters

Lookout for the Limes. Beware the Birds.

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They appeared out of nowhere.

I can only imagine a bunch of men dressed in all black showed up in big vans with tinted windows and planted them on grounds in the middle of the night.

And the next day, we were off.

I have to admit, I was slightly terrified by them at first. The traffic. The attention that inevitably comes with a bright green scooter.

But after a few weeks, I found the courage to face my fears, and it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever experienced.

I ride a Lime E-Scooter almost every day. Running late for class? Scooter. Not in the mood for the overcrowded, time-sensitive bus? Scooter. In need of a little pick me up on the way home from a particularly long day? Scooter.

The scooters have become my outlet, my best friends.

But I didn't foresee one daunting factor: the cost.

And no, I don't mean the physical cost when you wipe out and skin a knee. Not all the time I waste running around grounds looking for a scooter instead of getting on a bus or walking. No, I mean the money, baby.

The lime scooter isn't that expensive really. It is only a dollar to get started and then fifteen cents per minute. But, let me tell you, those few dollars and some change add up. I've reached the point where I'm scared to look at my bank account. I have no idea how much money I'm pouring into these e-scooters, but I know that it's way more than I can afford. In fact, at this point, it probably might be more efficient for me to buy a scooter of my own, but the appeal is just not the same.

I love that the scooters are waiting for me around almost every turn. I love that I can drop them off and not bat an eye. I'm obsessed with the ease, the speed, and the wind in my hair. Not even my bright green debit card can change my mind.

Should I stop relying on the Lime E-Scooters so heavily? Probably, yes. Will I? Most definitely not.

So here is a fair warning to you all: be cautious of scooters that appear in the middle of the night. They might just rob your wallet while they light up your life.

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