By choice I am the grass cutter in the family. I enjoy mowing the grass, and I cut it exactly to my specifications; the males in my family do not. Larry’s job is to keep the mower running one more year ad infinitum. He’s spent quite a bit of personal time with it recently.
Approximately two weeks ago, I was mowing the front yard and ran out of gas out by the road, the point in the yard most distant from the gas can’s storage place. Naturally I called Trey to fetch the heavy can for me. What’s the point of having a grandson in residence if not to do the heavy lifting? He came out, collected the usual gas can, and filled the mower. That infernal machine growled and groaned and refused to crank. It had been running fine until we refueled it. Just as I started to the house to find Larry, he appeared and headed across the yard.
“Where’d y’all get the gas you just put in the mower?” he inquired, politely.
“From the usual can out back,” I replied.
“That can had a tiny hole in the top,” he smiled sweetly. “I moved the mower gas to the new can. You just filled the mower with diesel fuel.”
Now I’m no mechanic. I’m just the grass cutter, remember, a lowlier position in the world of machinery, but even I know that filling the mower with diesel is a bad thing. I did point out to my kind and gentle spouse that he’d changed the gas cans around without telling us, so he could be just a smidgen at fault. As he gathered tools to take the mower apart, I went to work in a flower bed a great distance from the poor mower. I didn’t even ask how long it would take him to have the mower running again.
They say that all’s well that ends well. As he spent the day with the mower, Larry found an opportunity to replace the blades and do a little much needed welding on the deck itself. That whole incident was probably divine intervention in disguise. I haven’t mentioned that idea to Larry yet though. I might just keep that opinion to myself.
Tuesday of this week I went out early to cut the grass. I had checked to see that the tank was full of gas. The mower purred to life and I cut and cut, starting out near the road this time, and relishing the freshness of the early morning. The blue Spider Wort, which many people consider a weed, bloomed all over the yard, mixing beautifully with the golden day lilies. I cut some with the mower and left others for my viewing pleasure. I noticed the first gladiola bloom—such a deep red it appeared nearly black. The cool morning air prevented gnats and mosquitoes, too.
Finally, I was nearly finished so I headed for the gym set in the back yard. I usually push the chains of the swing up over the frame and cut carefully underneath to eliminate some trim work. This time I pushed the chain to the side with my hand and accelerated. Before I knew what was happening, the front end of the mower was off the ground, and I was hanging on for dear life, trying to figure out how to stop that infernal machine. I switched the ignition off and slid carefully off the seat.
Carefully I examined my predicament, trying to decide if I could undo this mess or if I’d have to confess to yet another lawn mower incident. The front corner of the mower’s hood was caught in the chain of the swing. If I tried to let it down, I’d hurt myself or break the mower, and so I summoned Larry from the bean row he was hoeing.
He laughed and laughed.
“Go get me the camera,” he said.
“No,” I replied.
He got it himself and recorded from every angle the hanging lawn mower.
“For posterity,” he said, “and maybe for Facebook. You know the hood’s probably ruined?”
He slammed the hood and it slid right into place, fitting better than it has in years. Remember what I said about divine intervention? However, I do think the push mower or weed eater will henceforth do the cutting under the gym set.