Last weekend I got to mow. You read that right, I was allowed to mow. I like mowing, the smell of fresh cut grass, and the instant gratification of seeing something finished and made tidy. I have written before about how much I like to operate machinery and equipment, and the bigger, the better. My ears perk up at purring of a well oiled engine and as it turns out we have a whole arsenal of lawn equipment. The problem is I seldom get the opportunity to use any of it and the reason for this is that my husband also likes to mow and he regards mowing as part of his domain – just like the smoker.
It has been a good summer for our area with decent rainfall and this has caused the grass in our yard and the grasslands around our place to grow like crazy. The hubby has had to mow so often that he finally got tired of it. I could hear the dread in his voice.
“I guess I better start mowing early this morning so I can be finished by supper time.”
Always quick to pounce I took advantage of the situation. “I’ll mow, I’ll mow. Please can I mow?” I’m not opposed to begging, but looking back, I wonder who took advantage of who or what? I say that because Nick not only agreed, he offered me the coveted position of “Kubota Operator.” The six foot span, zero radius mower was a hand me down from my father-in-law a couple of years ago when he bought a new one. (I had already established a relationship with it back at the farm.)
My husband would use the smaller John Deere to mow up close to the house and I would mow the acreage with the Kubota. This was my opportunity to play with the Kubota, get some sun and fulfill my OCD compulsions for the day.
“The height is already set, so don’t adjust it and be careful about what you mow over. Wauwk, wauwk, wauwk.” Like a Peanuts character in a movie where the parent’s voice is just a squawk in the background.
I decided to start out at the road and work my way up toward the house. It takes a while to go all the way across and then back again, so I just settled back, rolled up my Bermuda shorts and tried to position my legs so that the sun would tan the sides. That’s when I hit the ruts. BAM! BAM! I bounced forward, the mower bucked over the first set, and while I had my head turned to see what we’d just gone over, it hit the second. I slowed way down and turned around. A crew from the electric company had been there earlier in the week replacing old telephone poles with new ones and the ground must have been soft under the large trucks because they left deep gouges that had dried and were hidden by the weeds. I looked up toward the house to see if I had been noticed (caught). Safe. After that I decided to slow down. This turned out to be a good idea because next I flushed a bunch of baby rabbits out of their nest. Some people might have mowed right over them, but I waited until they made good their escape, designing an “I brake for bunnies” bumper sticker in my mind. One of my Shepherds, Piper, had joined me and trotted alongside me, a safe distance from the mower. She faithfully changed directions when I did and an hour went by uneventfully, although I could have added “turtles” to that bumper sticker. Then the wind kicked up a notch.
By this time I was up to the area where I usually dump the clean-out from my chicken house. Feathers, straw and dried chicken “fertilizer” began to whirl up in little dust devils. Ride through one of those in a large machine with whirling blades and see what happens. I was coated head to foot in all of the above. Clearing the cloud and wiping my face with my shirt sleeve, which didn’t help much, I noticed that Piper had deserted me. I needed a break, so I drove back up to the house, parked the beast and entered the kitchen through the side door, coughing and patting my clothes.
“Kool-Aid?” offered my husband,
I never finished the mowing. Nick finished it in record time early the next morning while I slept in. What a prince. Next time I feel the need for a little sun and the operation of heavy equipment I will get in my truck, gun the engine and open the sun roof.