A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Adventures in Lawn care- The saga continues

I have written here a few times about the joys of being a homeowner in Northeast Pennsylvania. But nothing compares with the fun and excitement that I have when I clear the leaves every year. I have regaled you with my leafy adventures more than once and it may be that I have crossed the line from telling a story to an obsession. But be that as it may it needs one more brush of the keyboard before I put the leaves to bed for the year. Although it was a clear day it was as cold as a witch’s mammary gland in a brass bra. Even with gloved hands and two layers of clothing I could feel winter’s impending arrival clearly. But the work went well enough. I was just about finished when the lawn tractor got stuck again. For those of you keeping score this makes the third time in as many years that this has happened. The previous years were in entirely different spots on the property. I was totally unprepared for this place to be wet and muddy but the trusty lawn tractor went for it like Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the checkered flag. I am now of the opinion that my Sears Craftsmen 42 inch 12 horsepower with rear baggers must have been a pig in a former life. It seems to sense mud and wallows in it with obscene pleasure. The infernal beast was stuck sideways on a steep hill. Job one was to get the nose pointing uphill. This involved actually picking the front end up (where the engine lives) and placing it delicately back down several times while my feet did ballet like maneuvers in the mud. Having it oriented in the right direction I placed old roof shingles under the rear wheels for traction. Some of those may be found someday as they flew out from under the wheels like excrement out of a goose and disappeared into the stratosphere. So the only solution was to get behind and push. The Sears folks engineered an interlock on the seat of the mower. Unless your keester is in the seat it just won’t run. I outfoxed their best designs and found that by piling twenty bricks on the seat the thing would run on its own. You can pretty much guess the rest here. When I finally got enough mud on me the darn thing started to move. And all at once took off. I of course fell nose first in the mud and the blood. A short footrace later I caught up with the tractor before it hit a tree. I hit the tree instead and then cushioned the tractors impact with my own body which knocked the wind out of me and the bricks off the seat halting the mud loving mower. Only several bricks hit my feet so I was fine. It’s over for the year now. And in a short time I may actually be able to move again without little spasms of pain everywhere. Or then again I could be wrong.

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