Today we take a little trip down memory lane – and then come back to the future as it were. I told this story more than a year ago, I think. It bears repeating, though. And the update will make it more than worth your time…
More than a year ago, I moved into this house only to discover that the grass in the yard grew. A lot…
I’d called on my brother, back then. Brat that he is…
“Sure, you can borrow the mower,” he’d said. “Come on over.”
Which was when I’d reached one of my lowest points ever, and had gone to collect his mower…
Before he put it in the trunk, he moved on to the lawn mower directives, which came alarmingly without complication. “The rollers have to be facing toward you. Otherwise the blades don’t turn.”
In other words, there was no five-foot rip-your-arm-out-of-its-socket pull-to-start cord. No on/off button. Just a cylindrical set of blades powered solely by the muscle behind the handle. Hadn’t this type of lawnmower gone out with the Stone Age? Was I really looking at a giant pair of scissors on wheels? Was I really gonna mow the yard with it?
I heard something that resembled a snicker coming from my six-year-old as I rolled “Michael’s Scissorhands” onto the grass.
To my amazement, the blades expertly sheared through the first few feet of grass. The amazement was short-lived, however, as I broke into an all-out sweat about 10 square-feet into the project. With each step I took, the more difficult Michael’s Scissorhands became to maneuver. I struggled and tugged and pushed and pulled, wondering why something so seemingly simply was turning into a thorn in my side.
About that time, a car drove by. I sensed the driver slowing down to get a look at the spectacle taking place on my grass. I surmised that the quickest way to save face was to stop what I was doing and pretend I doing just about anything besides what I was actually doing. My plan seemed to work. The car appeared to resume normal neighborhood speed, and I went back to the business of mowing.
A few minutes later, I looked up to see a young man approaching on foot, spotting his grin from about 30 feet. Again, I stopped fighting with Scissorblades.
“That’s some old school,” he remarked.
“It’s my brothers. He’s saving the planet.”
It was the only response I had. There was no way to save face. No way to even appear to save face.
I found myself staring at the Episcopal church across the street. Perhaps I could pray to Saint Michael, the church’s namesake. As the patron saint of chivalry in medieval times, my rescue would be imminent. Until I realized that in modern day Christianity, ol’ St. Michael is considered a warrior – which likely meant suck it up and keep mowing. At which point I had to wonder if Michael the brother and Michael the Saint had conspired against me via Michael’s Scissorblades, the lawn mower.
Which was about the time the phone rang, ushering in a true saved by the bell moment. It was my oldest son, who wanted to come visit for the night.
“Of course you can come over,” I said with sweetness born of sheer desperation. “On one condition…”
Alas it appeared St. Michael had heard my pleas after all. And my oldest son, whose middle name happens to be Michael as well, would forever be heralded, at least by his mother, as patron saint of lawn mowing.
Ah, but his visits weren’t consistent, and the grass was. So I called on the neighborhood kids. By the time November rolled around, cutting the grass was the furthest thing from my mind.
That lasted until May of this year.
As luck would have it, my dad bought me a lawn mower for Mother’s Day. What a sentimental guy, huh? But for reasons I’m unable to verbalize, it meant more to me than any “Best Mom in the World” greeting card ever could. Probably because my dad, a man, bought me, a girl, a lawnmower. (Did I mention the gas tank?)
In my sick, twisted world, it meant he knew that I wasn’t just a brain. I had brawn, too. (Whatever, okay?)
Anywho, I was thrilled. Until we got the lawnmower out of the trunk and the guy who lives in my carriage house came outside. He had way more enthusiasm than I liked. You shoulda seen the way he looked at my new lawn mower. So much so that before the gas had settled into the tank, he was zooming around the yard, mowing it with my new lawn mower before I could even find out if the “easy start” button was, in fact, an easy start button.
Let’s face it. I was jealous. Jealous that I had a brand new lawn mower and no chance to use it. I was mad that some man, who just happens to live in the carriage house, took it upon himself to mow the yard every time the grass had the audacity to grow.
It was my lawnmower. And I wasn’t happy.
Until my neighbor went on vacation with his family. He was gone for 15 days, and about nine days in, the moment of reckoning was upon me.
I have to tell you, much to my shock, the easy start button was just that! Talk about easy! Are you kidding me? This was gonna be a breeze!
Until I discovered that even without the hardship of Michael’s Scissorhands, I still faced an uphill battle. And the yard? It was uphill too, both ways.
Now I prefer to spend my time talking about my new lawnmower. Using it? Ha! I leave that to the guy in the carriage house…