Sunday, July 24, 2016

Grass

Well, hey there, invisible audience.  Hope your year has been swell. Here's another of the very occasional  life entries, though no drama this time.  You may have read that we moved into my mother-in-law's house after her husband passed last year.  Next month will be the first anniversary of the move.  There were some of the expected bumps with such a living arrangement but overall things have been fine. The gated community is very nice, with some wonderful neighbors.  It's also a great area in which to run/jog.

One of the bonuses of living in a house again - a backyard.  Sure, most of it is taken up by a pool but off to the right is a strip of grass that is not maintained by the association's lawn brigade (they do the front yard).

So this has allowed me to partake in one of my favorite non think exercises: mowing.  Even though the Florida sun (and the humidity) is as punishing as ever I still enjoy the repetitious labor that rewards the task with a visible result.  Instant gratification.  There's something about seeing a freshly cut lawn, such accomplishment.  I also get to use an electric edger.

I pushed a lot of mowers from childhood on, even getting paid occasionally.  It was relaxing, therapeutic.  A good time to clear my head, even if I was assaulting it with Iron Maiden on my Walkman.  That was a dumb move, cranking the music above lawn mower noise.  Quite amazing that my hearing sensitivity is still within normal limits.

Present day- the first six or seven months I had a standard gas powered mower.  It did the job quickly and efficiently.  The grassy area is roughly 100' by 12' bordered on the street side by a hedge (that I get to clip! Yes!).  I could go longer, cover more ground, but it's just enough.  Earlier this year the mower died.  Troubleshooting everything I could think of didn't help.  Turns out that it needed a new carburetor, discovered by a family friend who was happy to assume ownership and get it fixed.

I decided to get a good old fashioned push mower.  The kind with the spinning blades.  Made by Scott.  Purchased at Home Depot, where an employee told me that blade maintenance is usually handled by filing the steel cutters every so often.  A quick assembly and I was good to go.  It's an adjustment; you really put some forearm action into the process.  But it's good exercise, another benefit.  Very satisfying. I also feel good about one less engine polluting the environment.  I highly recommend it, unless you have an entire field to manage.  You might lose consciousness in the summer heat after that workout.

I haven't bought a grass catcher yet but I think it's a good idea.

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