Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cosmic Lawn Care Gods, please help

Things have been pretty rough around here lately. Cotton's been having really bad panic attacks, and last night he had a scary reaction to one of the meds that the vet gave him. Today, on day 1 of the other medication (that isn't expected to take full effect for 10 days) he's more deeply worried than terrified. I'm cautiously optimistic that that's a good sign.

As if the stress of a sick dog isn't enough, I've had another loss. My lawn mower bit the dust on Saturday, part way through the weekly mowing. I had no choice but to call in the big guns (my dad) to finish the job. He's not really keen on becoming my permanent lawn boy, though, so I've been inquiring about getting it fixed. It turns out that it's cheaper to buy new.... or new to me.

I've never actually set out to shop for a lawn mower before. The Cosmic Gods of Lawn Care have always stepped in for me when needed; but as long as the lawn is still growing, I don't know if I can wait for them again.

My first lawn mower was a reel mower. My brother donated it to me. This was before Earth Friendly was cool, but I still kind of liked the idea of going retro. Unfortunately, the blades were dull. It'd take 3-4 passes to cut anything, and could get frustrating.

Lucky for me, a former coworker happened to drive past my house while I was out making my multiple passes on the lawn and took pity on me. Or, maybe I should say he found a sucker upon whom he could foist of his old unwanted lawn mower. Apparently he'd tried to sell and/or give it away many times at various garage sales or community swap meets, but there hadn't been any takers. I was happy to take this mower. Sure, it was orange, and rusty, and the wheels kept falling off; but the price was right, the motor ran and you could usually get around the yard a few times before having to screw the wheels back on.

I used this lawn mower for five years. It wasn't pretty, but it got the job done. Because I'm cheap, I never considered finding a replacement; even if the rust was getting getting so bad that I could stand over top of it and see the blade turning.

Then, right around the time that I was closing the sale of my first house, my dad was in town and decided to mow my lawn. At some point in the process, the rusty handle apparently snapped off on one side. You could only really push it from the one side after that, and anybody who wasn't freakishly strong on their left side would end up going in circles.

My dad, ever resourceful that he is, packed up the old lawnmower and brought it home with him. He strapped two old hockey sticks to either side of it, so that the blades faced each other and met in the middle, and declared the old lawn mower as good as new.

I'm all about reduce, recycle and reuse; but the hockey stick lawn mower was a bit much. My dad was so proud of his handy work - I couldn't bring myself to tell him how horrified I was at the thought of using this contraption. (And in a new neighbourhood, where nobody knew me yet, no less.) I didn't say anything, but I had no intention of using it. Thankfully, the Cosmic Gods of Lawn Care stepped in once again.

I was walking the dogs, and came upon a garage sale. I happened to spy a lawn mower amongst the junk, and stopped to inquire. I know nothing about lawn mowers, but this one started when it was plugged in. Even better, this mower mulched, which gave me an excuse to give my dad for the upgrade. I managed to talk the guy into lowering his $40 price tag down to $30. (I'd have paid a lot more not to have to use the hockey stick mower, so I snapped it up.)

Four years later, that $30 mower has more than paid for itself. I never had a problem with it, until the day it died. I don't begrudge it's decision to move onto the great fairway in the sky... I guess I just wish that it had waited until I could hit the end of season sales. I've got big responsibilities this weekend that I can't get out of (more on that later), but after that I guess I'm going to have to hit the garage sales. In the meantime, I'm going to have to figure out how best to pay homage to the Cosmic Gods of Lawn Care.


  1. I can only imagine the hockey stick lawn mower and that is a very funny image. Happy hunting for a new(er) mower.

  2. I am skeered to leave a comment. I can't type, leave comments or type one sentence without an ! The whole Cosmic Lawn Care God thing is fun-nee. With the exception of having to worry about a new mower. I just hate to shop for mowers, I'd rather stay home and drink a glass of wine.