Adventures in mowing, a story.
First off, technically, I can mow, but I do it so seldom because of hubby and boys that my mower operation skills leave much to be desired.
Saturday night, hubby is deathly ill, food poisoning. Its now Sunday afternoon. The yard is in desperate need of mowing, he's unable to do it, and the older boys are gone with Grandma and Grandpa. Time for me to step up.
So I slog my way through what feels like knee high grass (it might be that tall on me), out to the shed where we keep the mower. This mower is something else. With two acres to mow, we needed a good one. And it is. Its a nice ride-on, zero-turn model, you know, with the handles? Rather than a steering wheel? For someone like me, its utterly un-intuitive lol.
I sit on the seat and peer doubtfully at all the controls. Levers and handles, buttons and dead grass, everywhere. I find the key, put it in and turn it. Nothing. Aha, thats right, the choke. Set it. Try again. Nuthin. Sigh. I will not try to find the users manual, I can do this dammit! Meanwhile the dogs, who had followed me happily into the shed, are sitting in there looking at me quizzically. Aha! Someone forgot to set the parking brake! Set it. Check the choke. Turn the key. SUCCESS! Move the levers before releasing the parking brake and it dies. Facepalm. Glad no one can actually see me right now. Start it again and realize now that I've done that, I have to back it down the shed ramp. After a few hilarious and life threatening tries, I have it in the yard. Now to mow.
I head out into the yard and choose my starting point along the fence. That sounded really simple didn't it? It was not! I am the worst at steering this thing! Comically bad in fact! To make matters worse, I didn't think about wearing appropriate clothing. My skort flips up in the wind, showing everyone the hot pink shorts underneath (oops!). The hot sun is baking my arms and legs to a crisp. Yes, I'm the idiot mowing in flip flops (What?! Its a ride-on mower!). I tuck my skort under my legs and perform a couple mowed laps around the back yard, managing to not run into about a third of the fence posts. I'm getting good at this! I go inside and change. Long cargo pants, work boots, borrowed a huge long sleeve shirt from hubby's closet, put my hair in a braid and added a ball cap. No. There is not a picture of this vision of mowing goddess.
I resume mowing and finally start to get a handle on the steering. I have to pause to move things out of my way every once in a while, but its going pretty well otherwise. Its amazing what you can find in your own yard when you're examining it so closely. After circling the yard a couple times, I switch to back and forth lanes. My left turns are good, right turns, eh, not so much. I loop jaggedly around trees and yard obstacles that can't be removed. An interesting moth settles on my leg and I let it rest until I can leave it in a tree. Wasps fly up from the grass and I increase my speed, or attempt to run them down. I managed to not get stung somehow.
I'm mowing around a tree that is just steps from the back porch. The dogs are sitting there watching me. As I edge my way around the tree, a HUGE, fat, black and brown patterned snake slithers out in front of me. Rattlesnake? I don't take any chances, grit my teeth and run it over. I finish mowing around the tree, stop the mower and go examine my grisly handiwork. Yep, its dead. I pull on my gloves and look closer. The end of the tail is gone and I can't find it. No clue there. The head (most of which is still there) is not shaped like a viper head so I'm still not sure. The snake is about 5' long and is fat through the midsection like a rattler, kinda has the pattern. I'm thinking it may have been a bull snake (non-venomous). However, with kids and dogs in the back yard, I'm not gonna take chances. I walk the snake to the back fence and toss it into the greensward behind the house. Don't want the dogs to eat it, bleh.
I get back to mowing. Find a rabbit skull. Must be the missing piece of the headless rabbit body found by one of my sons a few weeks ago. Mowing continues on and on and on. We have a really big yard. I think I may have hit a turtle that I didn't see. I feel really bad about that. But not about the snake.
Mow so long that I run out of gas. Uh oh. At least I'm now in the front yard. Do we have any? Yep, in the garage. All the time I've been mowing, I notice my neighbor out doing the same thing. It almost becomes a competition. We run out of gas at the same time, but he recognized it earlier and made it to his garage to refill. I ran my mower until it burbled and stopped. By the time I get the gas can to the mower he's already back at it. You win this round neighbor! *shakes fist* (not really, lol). This gas can has a me-proof nozzle that I cannot seem to get around, so I finally just take it off and pour the gas directly into the tank with only minor spills. It was the wind! Really!
By the time I'm finished mowing, I'm covered in grass. My clothing is soaked with sweat and I'm pretty sure some sorta bug has taken up residence in my belly button. Thankfully it turned out to just be more grass.
I survey my realm with pride. I have accomplished this! Surely all men in the neighborhood will bow to my mowing prowess! Unwanted marriage proposals will be forthcoming! I AM QUEEN HERE!
This concludes adventures in mowing, part 1. Will there be more? Stay tuned!