Laravel & Lawns

Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading through every class and method within Laravel. I love doing this. It gives me a chance to dig into each component, refresh my memory, and make the code more readable. I do it because I want to know I am shipping a quality product. I need to know even the parts of the framework that aren’t seen are polished and understandable.

I think this habit is something partially inspired by my grandfather. My grandfather is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. He has an old fashioned attention to detail and “doing the job right”. He is a World War 2 veteran who joined the Navy at 17 and could build basically anything. Houses, cars, swing-sets… anything.

Some of my best memories are from the summer before I started my senior year of university. It was a very formative period of my life. I was on the lawn crew for a local church which had a fairly large campus that included multiple lawns and a few soccer fields. The crew consisted of volunteers from the church and most of them were older men, but I worked on the lawns every day on a full-time basis. It gave me a lot of time to think.

I always sweated the details of the lawns. Creating perfect edges where grass would meet the sidewalks. Standing back and looking at everything from a distance so I could see how it looked as I approached the campus.

Often, my grandfather would check in to see how the day was going. One day as I was finishing up mowing and was about to put the mower back into the garage, my grandfather stopped me and said we needed to wash off the underside of the mower before we put it away. I was pretty frustrated by this. I didn’t see the point, but I complied. We hoisted the mower up on a pulley so we could spray out underneath the mower, let it dry a bit, and the put it away.

I thought it was silly at the time, but I’ve come to appreciate it more. With Laravel, my job isn’t done until even the underside is clean, and I’ve come to find enjoyment in it.

My grandfather’s health has been declining recently. His memory is fading. But, there is one question he always asks me when I go to visit.

“Remember when we took care of the lawns at the church?”

I remember.