Friday, June 24, 2016

Old School


Before I get started on this post, I want to let you know that I don't intend to write about every time I mow my lawn. That would be about as exciting as watching paint dry or water boil. I just had to sneak one more in because the whole ordeal has taught me a few things. For those of you who haven't read my post a couple weeks ago about my lawnmower woes, you can check out the post titled Wagon Wheel for the back story.

Long story short, for those of you who can't convince yourself to go back and read the Wagon Wheel thriller, here's the gist of it: My lawn mower wheel broke off. Yep, pretty exciting stuff. Well, this week's lawn mowing adventure was even more exciting....and educational.

I've dragged my feet a little too long in ordering the replacement parts for my mower, so I am still unable to use it and the grass just keeps growing. I found myself in the position of needing to ask a friend to borrow their mower so I wouldn't lose one of my kids in the tall grass. Actually, I ended up asking two friends, but I don't want to spoil the story for you. (I told you it was exciting.) 

I talked to my good buddy Matt first. He's one of those half friend, half brother kind of buddies. Always there for you when you need something. I knew he wouldn't let me down....and he didn't. As chance would have it, Matt actually had a second lawn mower at his place that he hadn't yet retired after buying his new mower. He offered it to me to use as long as I needed it. Awesome! I was in business.

I couldn't recall what shape the mower was in, but I knew it had to work better than the three wheeled mower in my shed. When I picked it up, I was pretty excited to find that the mower was actually in pretty good looking shape and it even had rear wheel drive. That's a huge bonus considering most of my lawn is a hill. 

I got the baby home and got ready to crank out the mowing in my usual 45 minutes. That's normally not an issue, but I was also running daddy day care at the time so I had a limited amount of time before I had to start the bedtime routine with my girls. I fired that green machine up (it's a Lawn Boy) and got to mowing. It ran like a dream for about 7 minutes and then shut down on me. 

Normally I would go to my number one mechanic guru friend (Matt) for assistance, but I was short on time. I shifted to plan number two.

My next door neighbor, who has coincidentally has been buds with Matt since long before I knew either of them, also offered to let me use his mower. I texted my neighbor Scott to ask if I could grab his mower and he gave the go-ahead. 

I grabbed his mower, which had a bone dry gas tank, and began to fill her up. I topped off the tank, set down my gas can and watched as the gas started pouring out of the mower about as fast as I filled it up. Apparently it was just a stuck float, but I'm the guy they put a picture of the gas can on the gas cap for....so I didn't know that. I just quickly grabbed my oil pan to dump out the gas before the whole tank emptied on Scott's driveway.

Well that was it for the night (last night). I was done. Not only was I extremely frustrated (not the fault of by buddies), but I had also run out of time to mow by then. I put Scott's mower away, let him know what I ran into and figured I'd give it a whirl the next night (tonight). Since Scott is considerably smarter than me when it comes to engines, he had the float issue fixed in 5 minutes and I had a new game plan for tonight.

I know you'll be a little disappointed with this part of the story, but I'll tell it anyway. Mowing the lawn went fine. I completed it all without any issues. I did learn a couple things though.

First, I have awesome friends. I guess I didn't technically "learn" that because I already knew it. I just didn't want to leave that part out. 

Second, I am glad I ran into this mower breaking saga. It helped me realize how thankful I am to have a self-propelled lawn mower. The mower I used tonight was a push mower and most of my muscles are aching tonight...at least the ones I can still feel. It also reminded me that I keep forgetting to pick up my blood pressure medicine refill at the pharmacy...not something you want to think about as you're pushing a mower up the hill over and over and over. 

In the end, it all worked out fine. Of course, I am pretending that the grass won't grow again for at least 3-4 weeks, but I guess that's not likely. Maybe I also learned a lesson about not procrastinating. Maybe, just maybe, this extended ordeal will get me to order those parts I need and fix my own mower once and for all. Maybe not though. Maybe I'm too tired and I'll forget all about it.

No matter how bad my memory is or how proficiently I procrastinate, I will not forget how awesome my friends are or how much I appreciate self-propelled mowers. Then again, maybe a good old fashioned reel mower is what I should get. Minimal maintenance and less weight to push up a hill might not be an all bad thing?? We'll see about that. Until next time....