General Non-Fiction posted September 5, 2023

This work has reached the exceptional level
another attempt at mowing the lawns.

Hitting a wall part two

by Mary Vigasin

My earlier post explained how I am now mowing our lawn. I did not add that my husband Harvey and I are two senior versions of Laurel and Hardy.

To make mowing more manageable, I decided to buy a new lighter lawnmower described as a mower for women or seniors; since I am qualified under either category, I ordered one.

When it arrived, I was anxious to get started on the lawn. We spent two hours with pliers and wrenches trying to remove the plastic butterfly oil cap.   It would not budge.

We gave it a rest and tried again the next day without success.

A little late, I read the reviews about the lawnmower, and what stood out was the many complaints about the oil cap. Meanwhile, having rain every other day, our lawn was so overgrown I considered giving Amazon Forest tours.

After a week, I decided that enough was enough. Today, I was removing that cap come hell or high water. With a rubber mallet in hand, I was ready to strike that oil cap to knock it off; I turned it first, and to my surprise, the cap moved quickly and came off.

I got the oil and poured it into the mower. I overfilled it, and it spilled all over the mower. I wiped the excess with paper towels and told my husband, Harvey, to put the oily towels in a bucket. I then told him to fill the bottom of the bucket with water.

As he was told, he filled the bucket with water, but he took out the towels and put them in the recycle bin.

I took the gas container to fill the mower and spilled a considerable amount all over the mower engine. There was a slight delay of about an hour before I was comfortable starting the engine.

Finally, I was ready to use the new lawnmower! Harvey got it started, and I gave it a big push. A loud bang, and smoke and flames started coming out the side of the mower.

Before we could get it started again, my elderly neighbor came over:

“You hit a rock, didn’t you?”

A second neighbor pushing her walker came over:

“She hit a rock, didn’t she?’

They both stood watching me mow the lawn. (At least they did not pull out lawn chairs!) But I could hear them clucking over the sound of the lawnmower, either critiquing my mowing or comparing their landscapers.

As I finished one section of the lawn, the two of them started to leave, and each gave me the same advice:

“Hire somebody next year!

I was pleased with how the new mower worked:

“Wow, this mower is so good; it is digging up the weeds by the roots! Let’s take it to the backyard.”

 Our backyard is two or three times larger than any of our neighbors, but unlike the front lawn, it is more grass than weeds, except rockier.

Now, I was afraid of rocks, so I started to mow in the middle of the lawn, avoiding the edges of the yard.

The middle of the yard looked like a puzzle piece, with me avoiding the sides of the lawn and other areas too high to see if there were any rocks. A loud bang told me I hit the tree roots.

Only then did I realize the lawnmower blades were too low, and I was digging up the grass. I now had a vast bare section of brown dirt in the middle of the backyard and many bare spots in the front lawn.

I thought about putting grass seed down, but the image of hundreds of birds feeding on the front and back lawns put that idea out of my head.

Maybe the grass will return. Possibly, more weeds will cover the bare spots in the front yard!

I tried to move the levers to lift the blades higher but could not budge it. Next time, maybe a few hits with the rubber mallet may loosen the levers.

I did buy a weedwhacker and have difficulty putting it together. But I know why: I started reading the illustrations in the middle instead of at the beginning and never turned the page for further information. It is still sitting in the box.

I am hiring a landscaper in the Spring.


As I mentioned earlier, my front lawn is in three sections separated by a walkway and driveway. I can never finish all three at once. So while one is mowed, the other two sit each with different heights of growth of both grass and weeds.
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