Sunday, April 29, 2007

Me and John Deere

As you might guess, saying the name John Deere gets everyone's ears perking up around here. Or at least the guys, anyway. I spent my Saturday morning at the local dealership, and you'll be glad to know that I came away from that experience with my very own John Deere. Granted, it's a lot smaller than the ones my husband and father-in-law usually drool over, but it will keep my lawn gnawed down to the appropriate height, so we're all happy. Prior to Saturday, we either (a) didn't need to mow because our yard featured only mud thanks to construction and rain, (b) had only the smallest smattering of grass that didn't require mowing because it was too freaking hot for grass to grow, (c) finally had a lawn that was content to be mowed by an old beater mower, or (d) a lawn that was completely out of control because my husband sold the old mower and then we got our tax bill and suddenly freaked out about spending any money therefore rendering our mower shopping over until we could write a check without weeping and leading to a sad incident in which my 5-year-old was convinced that she could control the jungle that was our yard with a small pair of garden clippers.

All of that is in the past, though, thanks to my shiny new yard steed. Considering that our lawn was reaching a state of desperation, and might soon be beyond the help of any mortal mower, I wanted to hop on immediately and get to mowing. But first, I had to learn to use the mower. Remember, I'm a city kid. The lawns I grew up with were much smaller, and frankly, the neighbors would have laughed if you zoomed around your postage stamp twice with a riding mower. Plus, when there was mowing to be done, it was either my garden-obsessed father or industrious mow-for-$10 sister that took care of the business while I lounged poolside working on my tan or cruised the mall looking for a new Hypercolor shirt and pink jelly shoes.

My husband's lesson on the mower began something like this: blah blah hydrostat blah electric choke blah blah blah liquid cooled blah blah. I looked at him blankly for a while, and then said, "uhhh, sweetie? I think this mower might be a little complicated for me if I need to know the inner workings of the engine in order to cut grass." The look on his face was a cross between disbelief and utter pity. He explained again, using smaller, non-mechanical words, and all became clear. Thank heaven, because the daylight, it was waning.

So I mowed. I mowed fast, and mowed slow. I mowed really, really fast just to see what would happen. I nearly overturned the mower trying to figure out how to mow the lagoon dam. I did donuts in the back 40 and laughed kind of a lot. I even had my own little obstacle course going between the apple trees and the creek. After an hour or so on the mower, I got tired of bouncing around over terraces and going around the swingset 40 times and doing a Miss America wave when I passed the front of the house, so I quit. But I felt sort of impressed with myself as I deftly maneuvered the mower into its parking spot after conquering a few acres of unruly fescue. Only later did I learn that my wild mowing had actually managed to puncture one of the tires. Guess I won't be finishing the lawn tomorrow. My husband is being oddly protective of the mower now. See, he used to work at a John Deere dealership, and he serviced lots of new mowers. He's never known anyone before who managed to pop a tire on the very first day.

1 comment:

Kay said...

LOVED it!! I have my own mini-JD too and I fight tooth and nail whenever dh mentions a Cub Cadet or some other mower. SabreJD and I get along just fine and if ds-23yo would stay off of it and push-mow like a strapping young man should, Sabre would be alot happier. Last time he chewed up the end of the plastic drainage pipe.

Wishing I could send you some rain.

Kay in the Bohmeian Alps of SE Neb.