I know, this is supposed to be a blog about my writing and all the things that make up an author’s life. And it is. Sort of. You see, even us authors have to cut the lawn.
I’ve never been a fan of cutting grass. Over the years, as I’ve battled one badly behaved lawn cutting instrument after another, I’ve learned to hate the fact that grass, well, it GROWS! I’ve tried various ploys to avoid this hated chore. I made the kids do it, but they grew up and left home and seem to feel it is not their job to come back every week (or less) and trim the green stuff back down to a manageable height.
I’ve tried the environmentally friendly options ie letting the neighbors cows munch on the lush greenery, and then shooing them back into their own field once they complete their task. In my defense, they escaped their pasture themselves. Even a cow can tell when the grass on the other side of the fence is greener. I’ve also tethered the kid’s pony around the yard to graze but alas, the kids got bigger than the pony and she went off to live out her retirement on a farm with a few elderly buddies of the equine variety.
Enter, the lawnmower from hell. In order to avoid a lawsuit from an enraged lawnmower manufacturer I won’t tell you the make and model of this particular medieval torture tool. And, I will admit a fair number of people gush over it’s ability to cut and mulch and mow lawns brilliantly. Mine didn’t do any of those things without an all out battle that I only occasionally won.
Personally, I think my particular lawnmower was possessed by evil spirits. It hiccuped. It balked at cutting the grass. It threw things at me. It damn near yanked my arm out its socket when I tried to start it. It just plain HATED me! And it knew how to drive me insane. This spring, after the first bout of grass cutting torture, I seriously considered getting rid of the darn thing and buying something that actually worked for me.
Lawnmowers are expensive. I’m a single working gal with a limited income. I just payed for a snowblower last fall so my outdoor equipment budget is kind of shot for a little while. I gave myself a stern talking to. Suck it up, I told myself. You can do this. It’s just a little machine. It’s not capable of hating you or doing things to annoy (or terrify) you. You’re just being silly.
Bolstered by this pep talk I headed out to trim the green stuff Saturday afternoon. I prepared as best I could. I put high grade gas in the mower. I added fuel stabilizer (per mechanic’s suggestion) I pulled and pulled and finally got the darling little thing started. I cut a few swaths of grass without incident. I started to feel a little sheepish about my whining. I am a grown woman after all. But then…
The oil cap blew off, sending hot oil spurting all over the place, including on me. And where it landed on the hot motor, it caught on fire. Thick black smoke billowed up, with the odd flame showing through the dark cloud. Keep in mind, I just filled this thing with gas! I panicked. I pushed it onto the cement parking pad and ran for the house where I watched from relative safety of the house as it burned rather impressively. ,
Mindful of my earlier self lecture, I got in my car and drove as fast as I could to the nearest Home Depot. I now own a nice battery operated lawn mower with no oil, not gas and no chance of exploding on me (I hope)