I have often thought that someday I'll quit my day job and embark on some new career that's completely unrelated to the way in which I currently earn a living. I still may. Let me assure you, however, that leap will not be into lawncare.
Mark is feeling much better, but is still under doctor's orders not to ride his bike, do any lifting or engage in twisting motions like those used in swinging a golf club or starting a lawn mower. Our lawn did not get that memo and has continued to grow unchecked in the last week. This morning he mentioned that he was going to need me to help him start the mower so he could take care of the tallgrass prairie we call a yard.
Thinking that was not a good idea, I suggested we contact our backup plan, the college student who mows next door, but we only know how to reach him via e-mail, which he doesn't appear to check more than once every couple of days. Because it's supposed to be hotter tomorrow than today, and then supposed to rain in the evening, Mark felt strongly that it needed to happen today. I tried to walk away from the conversation but it became increasingly clear that I was going to have to bite the bullet and do it myself if I couldn't come up with a better idea.
Fast forward two hours and I found myself in the garage getting a lesson in how to start our mower.
I know you're thinking that I should already know how to do that. You're right. I believe, however, that I last mowed when I was in about the 8th grade, which amounts to about 23 years of water under the bridge. I needed a refresher. Once Mark talked me through the basics of starting it and employing the self-propel feature, he headed inside to hang with the boys and I was off and running. Being a relatively intelligent person in relatively good physical shape I was confident that I could knock out the yard in time to eat a late lunch; that's why what happened during the next two hours was totally surprising.
It wasn't pretty, folks.
I started in the front and side yards and within minutes had ditched Mark's suggestion for what pattern to use. I quickly decided that whatever pattern required the least actual pivoting of the mower would be best. I had also decided that I don't like my neighbor as much as I used to think I did, because he stood in his yard laughing at me and yelled a few encouraging phrases which pretty much made me just want to run my mower up over his feet. By the time I finished the front yard I had worn blisters on my thumbs and I was bleeding. So far, things were going great.
p.s. the barb wire stays until the thumbs are healed.