Building Our Roots:
The Legacy of My Grandparents
So the reality of my story goes back to when I was a child. My mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was a child even though she had been dealing with it for a few years at this point. As she was learning to cope with a debilitating disease, my grandfather would bring his riding mower over to help with the yard as I had difficulty at such a young age trying to push mow our yard; it was close to a 1/3 acre lot. He taught me how to use the mower and proper methods and techniques to make the job less difficult.
As I got older and was then living with my grandparents, it was time for me to start chipping in and helping them. Now as a young man beginning my college career, my grandfather, a WWII veteran with hip and stability issues and could no longer safely and effectively take care of his yard. My grandfather, Ed Fedor, was a great man but was also very meticulous and at times hard to please. He would sit on the porch and watch me work and in a sense manage my workflow so that I was "doing it right". He taught me to do most of my trimming first and I had to make sure to do 2 to 3 passes around the perimeter to throw grass clippings away from the house and flower beds and I always had to push mow the ditches for safety.
Our age difference often made it so he didn't understand me, but I respected this man and looked up to him. He helped teach me the fundamentals of lawn care and making the property look professionally taken care of.
Mission to Please
My grandmother, or GRANDMAAAAA as I would tease her, was the other side to this coin. She was equally a hard ass as her husband and was the other reason their yard was always in good shape. She was always busy and always trying to work and wouldn't do something unless it was "done right". I previously had mentioned that my grandfather would watch my work to make sure I was doing a good job, but in all honesty, I really believe it was my Grandma Donna that was the pickier of the two and the primary reason that I am as adamant about the quality of work I and my company produce.
She was such a strong woman, always caring for her loved ones and stepping up to the challenge to take care of those she loved. She put her whole self into everything she did. I try every day to even slightly emulate her greatness and impact she had on the lives she touched.
As my grandpa continued to age and needed more care, it was my grandma that stepped up and tried to take care of things when I was no longer living with them. She was very passionate about her landscaping, flower beds, and bushes. She loved her rose bushes, her butterfly bushes, crepe myrtles, geraniums which she would take in and out of her sunroom seasonally and her favorite outdoor wave petunias.
She needed help taking care of all her precious flowers and was the person who taught me how to prune, cut shrubs and bushes, trim trees, and plant vegetation and flowers. I don't know how many times I had to ask her if I was "doing it right" because if I didn't, I would be doing it again to please her. She cared how her home appeared and wouldn't accept sub par quality in product or appearance. She also taught me adherence to quality standards and to create beauty that all can enjoy.
Taking Care of Family
This beautiful picture was one of the last good moments of my immediate family together. My mother, wheelchair bound due to Multiple Sclerosis, my grandma Donna, the rock and life blood that held most of my mom's side of the family together, my wonderful sister and her two kids, my beautiful wife, and my father siting across from her.
This truly was a special Christmas for me though bittersweet. Life has been a roller coaster for me and my family. Just as many of you have experienced, life is fleeting and not always fair. In the last 10 years my family has experience great loss and unfortunately God has taken away most of generational family above me. We lost my father within a year to a sudden diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer, both sets of grandparents, and left my sister and I to take care of my mother in the last all within the last 5 years. These series of events took their toll on our lives and changed so many things.
My grandma Donna always taught us to take care of our loved ones. She was such a big person and had a bleeding heart. She cared for her aunt, her mother, her husband, helped watch over my mother over the years, and was a second mother, there when we had no-one else, to both my sister DeShea and I. I lived with her for many years when I was lost going to college and trying to adjust to life's changes from me being a son to a caretaker, and from me being a child to a young man. She was the person I talked to most and shared the deepest bond with in my family. Her sense of caring for each other was instilled in and became a part of me. She was the one that always told me to watch out for the forks in the road of life.
Because I believe in taking care of our loved ones, I attempted to make myself available to be there and care for my Grandma Donna as she was aging and failing, trying to be there to support my father as he navigated the hells of cancer and treatments, all the while being the main caretaker for my mother who needs quite a bit of care and assistance. To do all of this I had to have a job that would be flexible and work around my schedule. Unfortunately, I found that many employers don't offer that flexibility and left me jobless and at a great disadvantage. My only option became clear to me.
Gma Helen's Birthday!
How We Got Started:
The Need For Something Different
I had worked construction periodically throughout my life as I was in-between jobs. I went to college pursuing a degree in architecture and minors in marketing and history. When things hit the proverbial fan, I began taking on a few odd handyman and property cleanup jobs. That eventually led to a few customers asking if I mowed. At that point I was taking care of my grandmother's yard, my mother's yard, & my yard for no cost so I figured why not. I knew what I was doing and how to make a property look good and the costs associated to do so seemed affordable for me.
So I began to work out of the back of a beater with a heater pickup truck I purchased cheaply from family friends ( no a/c by the way is brutal during the summer working out side all day). Luckily I was able to make most repairs relatively cheaply. Within a few weeks I was able to find a push mower, a trimmer, and a blower that all needed some work on the side of the road. I picked them up and got them in good enough shape to put into service. I was lucky at the time as I was also able to borrow my mother's rider mower that needed a little bit of tlc. Off I went down the road of a small town on my mother's Craftsman Rider with my gas can, trimmer, & blower. I would take care of a few yards with the rider and a couple more I'd have to go back with the push mower in the back of my truck. Costs were low, and I wasn't very profitable as I was making multiple trips in some cases to properly take care of a couple yards, but I was at least sustainable. I was able to pay my bills and able to slowly start collecting other equipment, mind you not always better lol. I did a lot of dumpster diving for equipment and buying bulk lots of mowers and trimmers for parts to keep things running cheaply.
As of 2021, I legitimized what I had been slowly building upon and started Envy Lawn Care. Over the course of 2021, I built business relationships, I constructed my website, and kept pushing myself to develop my brand and reputation. I kept reinvesting my earnings into the newer more reliable equipment as well as increasing service offerings and new payment options to better serve you all and my community to the best of our ability. I've been working hard over the last year+ to grow and push this business to the next level. It is nice to see it finally beginning to happen though I still have a long way to go.
Old Blue Has Served Me Well
Making Them Proud
I miss my grandparents greatly and see and think of them every day and in just about everything I do. I was honored to know them in the capacity that I did. They were like parents to me when mine couldn't be there for me. They taught me and helped me become the man I am today. I owe them the world and hope I make them proud looking down from above.