The downside of an early spring

Technically, spring will begin in three days, but it’s been spring around here for the past three weeks!  However, since winter never arrived, maybe we’re really just going from fall to spring.  I can’t remember ever having to do the first mow on St. Patrick’s Day, but that’s how it fell this year.

We’re hosting a life group here tomorrow night, and in Scott’s honor, I have been somewhat stressed about the yard.  Generally, I care about how the inside of the house looks when we have guests.  The only outside part I care deeply about is the porch and walk.  Scott, on the other hand, sees no problem at all with a messy house, just so long as the yard is mowed and neatly weed-eated.

I think the main problem is that we have no lawn; at least not the “real” kind of lawn tended by people who live in subdivisions.  In a couple months this will not matter, because once the weeds get thick enough and we whack them all off at the same height, the uniform greenness will effectively imitate lawn, but right now, there are just too many inconsistencies.  For example, there are the dandelions.  Today, they are blooming so close to the ground that the mower has no effect.  Frustrating little yellow blooms.  And then we have these little purple weeds that are EVERYWHERE in thick four-inch high clumps.  Of course, in a deeper shade of purple we also have a nice but widely scattered collection of grape hyacinths, which I actually like; but in a bed, please!  NOT all over the yard.  Rounding out the unwanted flora are lots of wispy, grasslike green onions.  They’re probably six or seven inches high, but once mown, they are still unsightly mini-imitations of wheat shocks!  Ugh.

I decided the yard had to be mowed before this group, and as I did not want to be working on that project in the forecast 82-degree Sunday afternoon heat, I told Andrew we’d tackle it this (Saturday) morning.

A few days previous, at my insistence, he had already tried unsuccessfully to start the rider.  No surprises there.  It never starts for the first mow, but the push mower had started, which was a hallelujah blessing.  Then there was the weed-eater.  I knew there was something to be done with a little square bottle of oil, so I told Andrew to go read the instructions and fill the weed-eater and try to start it.  He came back in saying that there were no instructions and the weed-eater wouldn’t start.  This was bad news, because the weed-eater is what we really needed to tidy up the front (the part that matter most when guests are coming).  I called our handyman friend and explained that the rider wouldn’t start and would he b3e willing to drop by sometime when he was in the area – he lives some 15 miles away and Walnut Shade is not on his way to anywhere – and take a look at it for pay.  He said he’d come by Saturday.  I also told him about the weed-eater:  that Andrew had poured “some” oil into the reservoir, added “some” gas, and couldn’t start it.  J.R. explained that that bottle of oil was supposed to be pre-mixed into a gallon of gas and THEN poured into the tank.  Well.  He said we’d need to drain it and then he’d take the spark plug out and clean it and see if he couldn’t get it started when he came.  Super nice guy, that J.R.

So this morning, we went out to tackle the yard with only a functional push mower, but lo and behold, here came Andrew driving the rider!  Yee-ha!  Things were looking up.  Why on earth that beast started for the first mow, I have no idea.  Clearly something new and different.  But wait.  It would drive but it wouldn’t mow.  No matter how many times Andrew moved that certain lever, the blade wouldn’t turn.  With my lightning fast mechanical mind, I diagnosed the problem.  Are dangling belts like dangling participles?  The mower’s was hanging at a rakish angle, clearly NOT encircling its intended wheel.  I could not discern a way to get the belt back on, so I had Andrew put the rider away.  That belt will have to be a problem for Scott on another day.

He brought me the push mower and started it for me.  I’m not too good at starting lawn equipment.  I began pushing the front, and I sent Andrew to re-fill the weed-eater’s tank with the pre-mix I had prepared the day before and see if the stars were aligned so as to enable it to start, even though its spark plug had not been cleaned.

God was merciful to us again, and the weed-eater started!  So I mowed and Andrew weed-eated, and when I was about to drop, he took over the mowing.  We only did the front, both sides, and the near back.  The far back is not yet high enough to need mowing, and as the Oldest Female On Premises, I made an executive decision that the mowing of ditches is vastly overrated.

The whole task took us a couple hours, and while the yard doesn’t look stellar, it looks good enough.  I was thankful that we were able to work together to get it done, even with some staffing and equipment deficiencies.  I also texted J.R. that we were fine and to please take care of his own family today.

I am quite sure that yards are really not intended to be mowed till April 15, so does this mean I have to pay taxes today, too?


0 Responses to “The downside of an early spring”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: