Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mowing Madness

Watching grass grow is only boring if you are not the one mowing the yard.

I am pretty sure that if my physician were to order a CT scan of my head the technician would be treated to a medical miracle.  There is nothing in my head at the moment, including brain matter, in order to initiate a data dump.  It is time for me to clear my head of all things Winter in order to make room for the duties that come with Spring.  Although I have tried my best to take notes from year to year I am astonished how easily I forget the simplest instructions. 

On Friday I took off work in order to mow, rake, fertilize and trim my yard.  I also volunteered to help my neighbors on either side since I like being outdoors.  My first task was to start the Cub Cadet lawn mower which I compare to a Chevy Malibu (with a sunroof) that also cuts grass.  In its first summer the mower and the driver left no blade uncut.  I was given very specific instructions on its operation from my ex-husband. Ten or more summers later I have forgotten all instructions and have taken the Cub Cadet in a whole new direction.

I tested the ability of the mower to climb a tree last summer.  At least that is the story I told myself and the other neighbors who saw me struggle to move it off the tree trunk.  That experiment was followed by an attempt to mow the lawn at the speed of a NASCAR race car.  Unfortunately the friction from the grass slowed the mower to a pace car speed.  It also produced a track on the lawn that was reminiscent of the Michigan Speedway.  If you have ever seen the MUMMY movies you can picture the scenes in the desert with the dust storm kicking up.  I was able to recreate this cinematic effect in my yard during the drought last summer.  No matter how evasive my driving the dust followed me into the fall.

When the Cub Cadet did not start at 8:00 a.m. on Friday I called my ex-husband for advice on how to troubleshoot the problem.  I am quite proud that I was able to find a battery charger, connect the red clip to the red post and the black clip to the black post, fire up the Cub Cadet and listen to it purrrr.  I was right on schedule to mow all three yards by mid morning.  As I set out I remembered to lower the mowing deck (and yes I have tried to air mow the yard which requires not lowering the deck) and drive in a motion which throws the grass to the outside of the circle.  I did not remember that the mulching plate over the throwing area needed to be removed.

As I entered the deepest grass in the backyard, oblivious to the wet conditions, there came a very loud moan from the mower and then it died.  I was able to start it again and thought the grass must have been too deep.  The next few turns around the same area I air mowed in the deepest grass.  Coming out of one turn I smelled burning rubber and then saw an amazing amount of smoke.  I have watched enough NASCAR with my niece and brother-in-law to know this is never a good sign.  Immediately I stopped the mower, called my ex-husband and returned the mower to the garage.  The past two days I have hand mowed the lawns in an attempt to keep the grass from growing at a non sequential rate.

I like to think there is a lesson learned in each new experience.  When I called my ex-husband the second or third time, he started to ask if I thought perhaps, maybe, was the grass kinda, sorta wet.  I knew where he was headed and took a very defensive stance.  I found out the hard way the wet grass combined with a mulching mower that is set at only three inches tall will burn up the belt.  I also discovered how to charge the mower battery and gave myself a workout that would make a personal trainer proud.  At the risk of sounding like a copywriter on Mad Men, it is a lot harder to cut three yards pushing a lawn mower than riding a Cub Cadet. 

P.S.  Once I saw this background I knew I was destined to post this blog...




  1. I appreciate the shout out to the malibu. Laughed out loud to a few of the pictures you painted. Especially the NASCAR image of the lawn mower going as fast as it can. P.S. I took out a tree when I was 12 driving a lawn mower as fast I could

  2. Hey and thanks again to Sean for the awesome Malibu...

  3. Agan it must be a familial thing. I too air mowed most of the lawn last week including the section where I am battling the pie tree limbs ala Obi Wan against the storm troopers. Remember he died? Then had to do it again. Didn't realize that I would react to the yellow smog of pine tree pollen. I have stopped sneezing but that isn't red eye shadow. Oh the joys of spring.