This may explode a couple of myths about those of us in our advancing years. One is that, in retirement or semiretirement, with theoretically more time on our hands, we are delighted to putter around the estate as amateur horticulturists. The Beatles contributed to this cliché with a lyric in "When I’m 64" ("Doing the garden, digging the weeds / Who could ask for more?").

Me. I could ask for less of such drudgery.

Around my house, there in fact are lovely gardens, with a variety of flowers, shrubs and vegetables, but that’s all the province of my wife. Too much labor and expertise involved for me. (Old proverb: Hard work may not hurt anyone, but I don’t want to take any chances.) I readily acknowledge a predilection for the kind of toil that involves a chair and a writing implement.

But here’s another bit of folklore, related but essentially contrary to the previous, with which I also disagree: That mowing the lawn is a chore to be outsourced.

I mow. Have for more than 40 years. And I enjoy it.

Because it’s therapeutic? (I guess so; mowing is not a time to think about death or taxes.) Because it’s a welcome outdoor activity, without overdoing it? (I never have believed in the no-pain, no-gain philosophy of exercise.) Because it offers a feeling of control? (Grass does not offer any resistance the way, say, unaligned wallpaper does.)

I know I’m outlier on this, in the 10th percentile at best. Apart from me and my next-door neighbor, who also cuts his own grass, it is blatantly obvious that landscaping crews rule in these precincts. (Ah, the thundering sound of ride-on mowers, trimmers and powerful, polluting leaf-blowers in the morning.) According to the state comptroller’s statistics, Long Island’s homeownership rate is above 70% for the roughly 3 million residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties, so that’s a lot of lawns being tended by hired hands.

I have no good explanation for my contrarian behavior in this matter. As a young lad, I despised the regular assignment of tending the lawn with a balky push mower and unwieldy hand clippers guaranteed to raise blisters within minutes. Especially since I might have been watching Bullwinkle on TV instead. The yard was for knocking a baseball around, not for honing one’s grounds-keeping chops.

Anyway, because high school graduation was followed by a span of nine years residing exclusively in dorms and apartments, all challenging maintenance duties became nonexistent. Lack of ownership has its upsides. Call the super.

But mowing, I discovered with the purchase of our first home, takes no skill whatsoever. No problem-solving. What could I possibly bollix in this enterprise? Just keep the mower blade sharp. Mow when the grass is dry. Alternate mowing patterns. (North-South one week, East-West the next. Go for the Yankee Stadium outfield look.) Participate in grass-cycling; that is, leave the clippings on the lawn, not only saving the time and effort of emptying the bag, but enhancing fertilization.

To be a competent mower of lawns, one need not understand the mystery of photosynthesis or know fescue from ryegrass, Bermuda grass from Zoysia grass.

Consider the visual satisfaction of your handiwork. "Mowing," a kindred spirit named Anthony Sharwood wrote in a Huffington Post essay, "is an artform. A sublime, beautiful, meditative act. You can mow stripes. You can mow circles. You can mow any way you choose."

And you make money with do-it-yourself mowing! I’ve done a few calculations. According to the HomeAdvisor website, the average cost of lawn-mowing services in these parts is, at minimum, around $30 a week. The mowing season runs roughly 32 weeks, so that would be $960 a year. To self-mow, I require approximately $50 worth of gasoline each year.

A small container of motor oil runs about $5 and lasts a couple of years. So that’s an additional $2.50 per annum.

OK. The price of my new mower, purchased last year, was $400. But if it lasts 18 years, as did my previous machine, that would be an annual investment of $22. So, I’d still be way ahead of the game. And still the hero of the story.

Contact Newsday's Act 2 section at act2@newsday.com.