You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. That’s what people (and Cinderella, (the band, not the princess)) say. The grass is always greener on the other side, and all that jazz. Except that sometimes, you don’t know what you were missing until you get rid of your old crap and replace it with something awesome.
On the whole, I really enjoy mowing the lawn. Some of this has to do with the fact that I don’t get a lot of alone time to just zone out and think about whatever comes to my mind. Its the same thing I like about the
Clarian IU Health PeopleMover. Its a break in the day where I can plug in, play some music on my phone and think big thoughts while the world goes by.
One thing about mowing the lawn is that when you live in a part of the world where adverse weather affects at least half of the year you also forget about things like mowing the lawn and your lawn mower. A few weeks ago, somewhat warmer weather and a significant amount of rain (and a special assist from the lawn care service that Susie thankfully talked me into) had combined to cause the grass to grow enough so that it was time for the first mowing of the year. I was excited to pull the lawn mower out, fill it with gas and get ready from my hour-long moment of Zen. However, the moment I laid eyes on my lawnmower, a flood of bad memories kept flooding back that the cold winter full of 2 inch thick ice storms had caused me to repress. Somehow, I had forgotten that my lawnmower was a decrepit piece of crap.
Between the wiggling front wheels, the multiple times that the starter rope needed to be pulled just to start it, the missing bolt on the one side of the handle that had since been replaced by duct tape, the giant gash in the plastic guard trailing the mower when it got stuck in the blade (when I was sure I had dealt the death blow to my trusty friend)
(don’t ask how), or the duct tape that barely kept the kill switch in the off position, I can’t believe that winter had blinded me to the disaster that was my lawn mower. So I rolled it into the driveway and, with a little bit of coaxing, it started up. Whew. She may not be the prettiest girl at the dance, but she’s all I’ve ever needed and that is good enough for me.
Until I got about a third of the way through the yard, when I remembered that while the lawn mower lacks in style, she also horribly drops the ball in substance as well. The tall, wet grass must have clogged up the mower and killed the engine at least 50 times. And it turned into the Bluesmobile (at the end of the The Blues Brothers when it suddenly falls to pieces, not when it flies over the Chicago skyline) and lost a wheel about halfway through the job. In the words of Finding Nemo‘s Marlin: “Good feelings gone!”
Somehow, I struggled through, but I knew that the old mower’s days were numbered. I ended up deciding to get a new lawn mower for my birthday. My parents were in town that weekend, so my dad and I decided to go out together and share a little man-to-man bonding time over machinery. When we got to lawn mower store (I won’t say it’s name, since it is the same corporation that once fired me. The only job I have ever been fired from.)(Not that I am still bitter or anything…) the model I had gravitated toward after a mildly hasty online search was not available in store, so we kicked the tires of a few others and settled on what seemed to be a perfectly acceptable in-store model, since I was rather desperate for a lawn mower because of how long my grass had gotten over vacation (sorry neighbors!)
After a one day rain delay (okay it was also a golf delay), I finally pulled the new mower out of the box. And I was definitely not ready for what I was about to see. A bright gleaming dream in green and yellow.
I am not a huge fan of power tools or muscle cars or the absolute latest gadget. I get something that is reasonably priced that can get the job I need it to do to done. Rarely do I gush over a product. In fact I can think of only 2 products (my Nintendo Wii and my Palm Pre) that upon first opening the package and using the item, I was awestruck by. I now have a third. My John Deere 7.0 horsepower lawn mower. It is unreal. And that was just
after entering my name pulling it out of the box. After looking at it I didn’t realize how much it dwarfed my old mower, both in actual size and in glory.
Upon actually mowing the lawn, I was sold. Despite the prodigious height of my lawn, Green and Yellow tore through it like we were on a lazy walk through the park. The mower itself was taller and made it so I didn’t have to hunch over to push it anymore. My moment of Zen was back and better than ever. If it weren’t for my lack of business sense and entrepreneurial drive, this machine would have convinced me to start my own lawn care company. I can’t wait to fire the lawn mower again (probably tomorrow, if the weather and time permits).
As for the Bluesmobile, it ended up with a better ending than I thought it would. After purchasing Green and Yellow, I asked my dad how you dispose of an old mower. He said just leave it on the curb on trash day. The garbage men would take it, although he figured that a “treasure hunter” would come by and whisk it away first. While, I really didn’t believe him and slightly patronized him by faithfully saying I would do it, I figured that Wednesday would come, the trash and recycling would go, but the Bluesmobile would be left behind. Maybe, if it was “Junk Up Zionsville” Day, the garbage men would take it. (This is Susie and my nickname for the occasional days when large bulky items are accepted and are then left “junking” up the curbs of Zionsville.) But the old mower wasn’t going to be taken. And surely, no one around here would be coming around to find this treasure before Ray’s Trash did. Not here in
As I woke up that morning, I looked out the window to the curb and the mower was still there, along with the rest of the trash. I knew it. No one would take it and it was only a matter of time before the ultimate insult would occur and the Bluesmobile would be the only thing left behind on the curb. I had forgotten about the mower as I got ready for work, but then took one last glance out the window before leaving and lo and behold, someone had taken the Bluesmobile! And I smiled. As usual, my dad was right.