Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Mow, Mow, Mow The Lawn
Do you want to know my favorite part of this time of year? People mow their lawns. That is correct; people mow their lawns.
I absolutely love the smell of newly mown grass. It smells like watermelon which is another favorite of mine.
When I am out driving and I pass someone mowing along side the road I inhale deeply. It is a clean sweet aroma. And it always sets me to thinking about lawn mowing experiences.
When I was small everyone had push mowers. A push mower had curved blades fastened around an axle on the mower. There were two wheels outside of the blades and a long shaft that led up to the handle bars.
To operate a push mower you simply pushed the machine forward. The blades rotated and cut the grass. The best way to do it was to thrust forward then pull back a bit then thrust forward again. Even with nice sharp blades some of the grass would escape the first thrust.
A push mower was a lot of work but it beat using a scythe. A scythe takes more exertion and is less efficient so a push mower was a wonderful thing.
Then my grandmother got a gas powered mower. It was a nice shiny red machine. It was started by pulling a rope that had been wrapped around a pulley that connected to the motor. Usually it took a couple of tries before it started.
The mower was very loud. I guess they decided not to include the cost of a muffler in the price of mowers at that time.
It was fun to watch Daddy and my brothers mowing Grandma's lawn. Actually it was quite an event. My youngest sister was afraid of all noises but she liked to watch the mower.
What we would do was I would take my sister into Grandma's screened porch and hold her tight. For some reason she felt safe that way and she could watch the lawn mowing operation without screaming.
In another town the boy across the street from us used the power mower to mow his family's lawn. He was my brother's age. His older sister was my age.
During the summer most kids did not wear shoes in the summer. Being barefoot was the freedom we were allowed.
One day the boy was barefoot and mowing the lawn. He hit a hidden piece of glass. It shot out from under the mower and cut off his big toe. It reminded everyone in town to wear shoes while mowing the lawn. Other than forever missing his toe he was fine.
My parents had gone into the big town to shop for groceries. They took the little kids with them. I was off with my friends. Two of my brothers were home. They were supposed to mow the lawn.
Power mowers took a mixture of gasoline and motor oil as fuel. My brothers had discovered the fun of putting gas into an empty tuna can and lighting it on fire. Then they would toss it and watch the gas burn.
My oldest brother was holding the can and lit it on fire. When he tossed it the gasoline splashed all over his arm and suddenly his arm was on fire.
My brother was smart enough to drop and roll to put the fire out. One of the attendants at the gas station across the corner from us heard the commotion and ran over to see if he could help.
My brother's arm was badly burned. The attendant drove my brother to the doctor's office. I happened to be walking in front of the doctor's house which doubled as an office when they pulled up. The blisters on my brother's arms had already broken open leaving raw skin exposed and he was in real pain.
He was lucky that there was no scarring. But he was in a lot of pain for a few days. Both brothers learned not to play with fire.
Last summer I hired a couple of young men to do some yard work for me. I needed some small trees trimmed and some weeds cut. They would also mow the lawn.
I am still not sure what happened. The young men mentioned nothing. When I paid them I had to ask them to return my push broom that they "accidentally" loaded into their vehicle.
A few days later I had to go somewhere. My son and I were riding down the road when we heard a funny noise.
My son turned and looked. The rear window of my SUV was crumbling. We later found a rock that must have been thrown up by their lawn mower and through the window. It turned into the most expensive yard work I ever had done.