First Mowing

First Mowing

Ahhh, Spring.  What a wonderful time of year.  You can tell when Spring officially arrives: warm southerly winds, new life, birds chirping, new buds on the trees, garden preparation, and allergies.  People are energized, doing anything and everything they can think of to get outdoors.  Everything about Spring is great … except for lawn care.

Along with Spring comes lawn care, and that means mowing the grass, ugh.  Its exciting to hear the lawn mower come to life after sitting dormant all winter, sulking in the far corner of your garage.  But getting it started that first time each season brings with it a lot of angst.  You never know how that mower is going to respond to you after ignoring it for 6 months.  Is the mower going to cooperate with you, share your enthusiasm for Spring, anxious to get outside, or is it going to pout and play hard-to-get?

When I was a kid, starting the lawn mower was a real challenge, not just the first time in the spring, but every week.  Along with filling the gas tank and adding oil, you set the choke and the throttle, hoping you got the mix of the two just right.  Then you jerk the starter cord as hard as you could, and if the planets were all properly aligned, the mower might sputter to life.  Of course, getting struck by lightning was better odds than the mower starting on the first try, so rapid repetitions of pulling the starter cord was the next step, which left you breathless and swearing.  After several futile tugs on the starter cord, it was safe to assume that the mower was “flooded”, which meant you had to let the mower sit for an hour or so until the excess gas  fumes evaporated.  Pushing the mower was easy compared to getting the darn thing started.

The mowers of today have “quick start” engines, which virtually guarantees the mower will start every time.  I love it– no excuses now for not getting the lawn mowed, but it allows quicker realization of the job’s drudgery.  After about the third week of mowing, the excitement of starting up the mower is quickly replaced with the sad reality of this weekly task lasting for another 5-6 months.

The drudgery of lawn mowing is in the male DNA, and the young lad in this photo quickly acquired a lifetime aversion to the job in his very first mowing.

Thought for the Day:  People who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up.  Ogden Nash

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