Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Wagon Wheel


I got home from a whirlwind trip to Wisconsin over an extended weekend to find that my grass had grown about a foot in the five days I was gone. Fortunately, I figured this would happen so I made sure to arrive home early enough to have time to mow. For the record, it's kind of nice to mow the lawn after sitting in the truck for almost six hours driving home.

The only hesitation I had was the fact that I have had a loose wheel on the mower and I have been preparing myself for the day it finally breaks completely. I had actually replaced the wheel last summer after nursing it for a month or more. Unfortunately, the new wheel only lasted about a month before it stripped out as well. 

The Wobbly Wheel
Normally a wobbly wheel wouldn't be a huge deal, but I have a rather steep hill on the back and side of my yard. That means that running across the hill at an angle puts a lot of stress on the wheel. Since I am not fond of going straight up the hill over and over, I risk the angled path that adds more stress to the already weak wheel.

Well, this was the day the wheel decided to completely break off. I wasn't overly concerned because I only had about ten rows left to cut in the back yard to finish up. Since I was too lazy to throw away the old broken wheel last summer, I still had it in the shed. After a two minute wheel change (I know - I'm not NASCAR efficient), I was off and running again. For about 60 seconds...

The old broken wheel only made it through two rows before breaking off completely like the newer broken wheel. I now have a 16x25 foot patch of uncut grass smack dab in the middle of my back yard. 

The old and new broken wheels
Truth be told, this turn of events didn't really phase me either. I might have been a little more concerned if the uncut grass happened to be in the middle of my front yard, but it isn't. I also happen to have a really good neighbor that will probably let me borrow his mower to finish my lawn. (I don't really have to worry about that today since we have thunderstorms rolling through this afternoon.)

For some reason, I started thinking about one of the Little House in the Big Woods stories my daughter and I read a few weeks ago and it really brought things into perspective. The portion of the story I recalled was when Laura Ingalls' family was travelling to their new home by means of covered wagon. At one point they came upon a couple with a broken wagon wheel. 

That couple was pretty much stuck where they were until someone came along that happened to have what they needed to repair their wagon. In all reality, they probably starved to death or were killed by Indians on the plains. That's why I only waited for three hours sitting next to my three-wheeled mower hoping someone would come along with a new mower wheel. I didn't want to starve to death in my own back yard, so I dragged the mower over to the shed and went inside to grab a bite to eat. 

I learned two important lessons with this whole ordeal. First, don't bounce your mower to knock out wet grass that's clogging the mower. (Or don't mow wet grass.) Apparently, I keep breaking wheels because the shaft is bent on my mower...probably due to my own mistreatment of my mower. Second, only mow your own lawn. That way, when the wheel falls off your mower, you don't have to drag a three wheeled mower very far.

My plan for tomorrow is to pull the weeds and grass out of our little garden. I shouldn't run into too many issues with that. Then again, after spending the weekend helping my wife's parents move, my back might give out with all that bending over in the garden. In that event, I might actually have to stay put until help arrives. Until next time....