This weekend, we took advantage of the nice weather and worked outside. Much to The Bibbed Wonder’s chagrin, he mowed the lawn for the first time. My bib overall-wearing buddy does not enjoy mowing grass. Although I offer to take over the mowing for him, he refuses to let me anywhere near the lawn mower. I admit, I have quite a history with lawnmowers, and I am not surprised my bib overall-wearing buddy won’t budge when it comes to letting me on the lawnmower.
When we lived in our little cottage by the library in Brookville, we used a push mower to mow the lawn. Our yard was small, and a push mower sufficed. In the front of our yard, we had a forsythia bush and a stump of a dead forsythia bush. The stump always bothered me, but I did not know how to remove it successfully. Removing a small stump was not at the top of The Bibbed Wonder’s priority list, so the stump stayed. The grass would grow annoyingly high around this little stump, and I viewed it as an eyesore. Eric had had the blades to the lawn mower sharpened, and I took it upon myself to mow the grass while he was away.
I got as close to the stump as possible, which ended up getting the mower stuck on top of the stump. Sigh. The mower made a horrible grinding noise, and bits of wood flew out from underneath it like shrapnel. I remember the preschool daycare kids were walking down the sidewalk, and the caregiver in charge stopped them, looked at me, looked panicked and turned them around, and took them down the alley next to our house. I shouted an apology, but she merely waved and looked over her shoulder like I might chase them with my push mower.
After its run-in with the annoying little stump, the lawn mower was never the same. It developed a shake and shimmy that it had never had before. I nonchalantly put the mower away, not mentioning what I had done to Eric. When he took it out to mow the next week, he gave me a suspicious, annoyed look and asked what I did to the lawnmower. I sheepishly confessed what had happened with the stump. He shook his head and informed me a lawn mower is not a stump grinder. He then removed the blades, saw they were bent, gave me another annoyed look, and went to Sears in Dubois to purchase replacement blades.
Once at Sears, a young woman helped him find the correct blades. He took the old bent blades with him as a sizing reference. When he was checking out, the young woman asked if she could keep the old bent blades. Eric chuckled and agreed. When he inquired why she wanted to keep the blades, she informed him she had never seen steel blades bent as severely as those, and she wanted to show her manager. Sigh. The Bibbed Wonder got a lot of comedic material from that one.
I have quite a list of lawnmower-themed stories in my history. When we moved to The Judge’s Mansion across town in Brookville, I asked The Bibbed Wonder to buy me a reel mower. I thought a reel mower might be easier to mow the embankment leading down to the street in front of our house. I was wrong. Using a reel mower was difficult, cumbersome, and heavy. When Eric returned home from a week away, he asked me how I liked the reel mower. I reported that I didn’t like it at all. He chuckled and asked me what I didn’t like about it. I informed him HE had allowed the grass to get too high, and I couldn’t use it. He rolled his eyes at me and again made fun of me for weeks because I blamed him for not using the reel mower. Incidentally, the reel mower sat unused in our garage for several years. Eventually, Eric sold it to an Amish man. However, he has never permitted me to forget my blaming him for the grass being too high and the mower being too tricky to use. My theory is, if all else fails, blame The Bibbed Wonder.
In my defense, I try to help. I do. I’m just not very good at judging what a lawnmower can cut, where mowers can fit, and how close they can get to hard objects. While here at the farm, I have gotten the lawnmower wedged between a tree and a fence post. Eric had to wrench it out with the pully on the side-by-side. I did an excellent job of getting it stuck. I have also come dangerously close to putting the lawnmower into the pond. Also, in my defense, goose poop is very slippery. I’ve taken out the fire ring, knocking down all the stones that surround it. I’ve almost decapitated myself on the clothesline. And last but not least, I’ve taken large chunks of plastic off The Bean’s swingset. It’s little wonder my bib overall-wearing buddy doesn’t permit me to even look at the lawnmower. Sigh. I must confess the man is the epitome of patience. He never gets angry, rarely takes a tone, and mostly laughs off all the extra work I make for him when I try to help.
Although he wants no part of my help with mowing the lawn, it never fails; when we pass a woman mowing the lawn using a push mower or a riding mower, The Bibbed Wonder announces, “That’s a fine-looking woman, right there!” It matters not if she weighs 600 pounds or is 100 years old. He tells me it’s the fact that she’s mowing the lawn without ruining a mower that makes her attractive. He also encourages me to seek a boyfriend as long as he is willing to cut the grass. Sigh. His sense of humor is sometimes lacking.
Lawn mowing season has begun. My bib overall-wearing buddy says that mowing the lawn is the downside of warm weather. He likens cutting the grass to having an STD, eating glass and then passing it, or having hemorrhoids. I’m unsure how he can make these comparisons, and I don’t ask. I’ve learned that when it comes to The Bibbed Wonder, sometimes it is just better not to ask. Sigh.
On a bright note, after almost ten years of battle and conflict, we have finally compromised on our landscaping debacle. He won; the plan does not include mulch. I won; the project does not involve covering everything in stone. We have agreed upon an evergreen ground cover to go around the house and the outbuildings. We have a plan to tackle the project one section at a time. He is happy with my choice of plants and placement. I am delighted he has agreed to no longer cut down or poison the trees around the house. As soon as the frost threat is over, it will be game on to update and refresh our landscaping.
Eric has also agreed to save and restore my dad’s old stone trough fountain. Fixing the fountain will be no small feat. It will require him to move the old stone trough, dig up the waterline and holding tank, replace both, and do whatever it takes to weatherproof it. Saving and restoring the fountain is what I have asked for as a Mother’s Day gift and probably our anniversary…and maybe my birthday and Christmas too. He does love me, and it’s a good thing.
I hope you, too, had a wonderful weekend and got to take advantage of the nice weather…even if it included mowing the grass. Stay safe, be smart, don’t use a lawnmower as a stump grinder, don’t try to make large equipment fit into small spaces, and of course, keep washing your hands.