Friday, April 25, 2008

10 Things I Hate About Spring!

1. Mowing my yard

2. Mowing my yard

3. Mowing my yard

4. Mowing my yard

5. Mowing my yard

6. Mowing my yard

7. Mowing my yard

8. Mowing my yard

9. Mowing my yard

10. Mowing my yard

Did I mention? I hate mowing my yard.

I have a rather strange relationship with appliances, cars, lawn mowers, etc... They laugh at me and I don't trust them.

When I moved into my house almost 11 years ago, my soon to be ex-husband gave me our old push lawn mower; out of guilt or the desire to rid himself of what he saw as two useless objects, I'm not sure.

The mower lasted about 2 years before one of the wheels fell off. Actually the body of the mower rusted to such an extent that one quarter of the body just fell off. Acting on the advise of a co-worker I took it to a welder and $10.00 later I had an ugly (but functioning) mower.

But all good things must come to an end and one bright spring morning my mower was declared DOA.

Luck was with me because I found an ad for a used mower in the paper and when I called the number, not only was it still available, they wanted my old mower for 'parts.'

I finally found the house on a side street and was pleased to note that the mower for sale looked great and boasted a good brand name.

But, suddenly it seemed like every man in the neighborhood needed to stop by and offer advise or to just stare. One very bold, and very scrawny little man with a filthy pony tail and no teeth hinted broadly that a "little lady like you should have a man to take care of your lawn" (wink, wink) and I refrained from replying that I require a little more meat on my man's bones (and I hadn't even met Hans yet) and if not all of his own teeth, at least a reasonable facsimile thereof!

Unfortunately the lawn mower owner didn't have gas in the machine and couldn't prove that it really worked. Being naive I took him on his word that it worked, so for $15.00 we swapped my mower for his and I was on my way sans the toothless man.

Once I got home I was tremendously relieved to find that the mower did indeed work and I hadn't wasted my money!

Things went well for a few years, although every spring I would hold my breath at the first pull on the starting rope, just sure that the motor wouldn't turn over, but it always did.

But, I guess I must truly be hell on wheels or all mower's belong to the same union because all of a sudden a wheel fell off of this mower.

This time however it wasn't the body of the machine that was the issue. Somehow the bolt that held the wheel in place ripped off and I couldn't figure out how to fix it. So for about 2 years I mowed with 3 wheels. I just had to hold the back right side up while I mowed and prayed that the neighborhood wasn't laughing at me.

Then one day my neighbor, a retired man, who I'm sure regrets the day that a single woman with 3 kids moved in next door, sneaked over and fixed my mower while the kids and I were eating dinner. I was very thankful and very embarrassed.

So last night I decided I'd better get out there and do something about my grass as my neighbor, who lives for lawn work, has already mowed his yard about 20 times! I'm not lying when I tell you that he sometimes mows 2 times a day!

I wheeled the mower outside and of course it had no gas, resulting in a trip to the gas station.

I wisely only put about a cup of gas into it, because if it wasn't going to start I was not about to waste $4.00.

I primed it, yanked on the rope, and... nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Not even a tiny little burp or spark.

A few more primes, a few more yanks.


Back into the garage for the oil.

This time I only put in about 2 tablespoons. I still remember a couple of years ago when I dumped about a cup of oil in the mower and for something like 2 weeks I was embarrassed about the blue smoke that hung over my yard for hours after I was done mowing.

I waited until the oil disappeared into the bowel's of the mower and yanked the damn rope again.

By now my hands looked like they belonged to a mechanic, complete with grease under my nails and I was getting pissed.

I do not want to buy another mower. I'm in the process of getting a new garage door (much to my neighbor's relief I'm sure) and I don't even want to tell you how much that thing's going to cost.

Finally, I primed one more time. yanked like hell one more time, and almost fainted when grudgingly, the mower spat out a small shot of blue smoke.

I knew it didn't stand a chance after that.

A couple of more pulls and it was happily blowing blue smoke like crazy and I was finally in business.

Now if it can just hang on to it's wheels and I can hang onto my sanity, I hopefully won't have to go back into town and find my toothless little admirer/pool boy.


Mary Witzl said...

I'll never forget my father trying to get our lawn-mower to start. He would swear, then try, then swear again, then try again. Once he got it started, he put on a mask (he had terrible grass allergies) and swear right through that. Mowing the lawn was absolutely his most unfavorite chore, and guess what? I just LOVE it!

Our lawn-mower has no engine, just a couple of wheels and blades that get dull pretty quickly. But I need the exercise and there's something about being outdoors, making neat stripes in our lawn that satisfies me deeply. Takes all kinds, I guess. I even do our neighbors' side -- that's how fanatic I am.

debra said...

When I was a kid I absolutely H-A-T-E-D mowing. Once, when I was about 15 or so, my parents were out of town. My sister and I were staying home alone, with the grandparents checking on us now and then. Not only did we leave the kitchen for the last day, we left the mowing as well. I was babysitting and came home to a clean kitchen and a frowning mother. They had come home a day earlier than scheduled. The grass hadn't been mowed for 2 weeks, and was basket-making length. I will never forget mowing that grass!
Now we use a tractor for most of the yard (it's large), but I still like using the push mower, because I can see things.
Glad to have found your blog.

laura said...

I didn't even know anyone used those types of mowers anymore. My great-grandmother had one, and when I was young and stupid, (like I'm any smarter now!)and in spite of all of the 'it's dangerous' warnings, I used it every chance I could. Hey we didn't have video games back then!
I would never let my kids mow the yard in my absence. They would have found some way to turn that machine into a weapon, I'm sure!