On a late November Saturday morning, when it’s below
freezing outside, where is the Common Household Mom to be found?
In the warm kitchen, making a birthday
At the mall, shopping for gifts for
her loved ones?
Curled up by the
proverbial fire, sipping hot chocolate and reading a good book?
No, Dear Reader.
such a day you can find the Common Household Mom outside, mowing the lawn.
The Weather Man had promised dry and 45° for today.
That’s a good 20° warmer than the past five
days have been.
So I girded myself in
the clothing of yard work, including not a winter hat but one of those things
that just wraps around your ears.
temperature was only 26°, but at least it was dry.
I heard the sound of a lawn mower out in the
Sure enough, there was my
Neighbor with the Heart of Gold mowing his lawn, with the usual cigar hanging
out of his mouth.
I set my face toward the garage, found the gas can, and
filled the mower’s gas tank.
I have not
yet figured out how to do this without making my hands smell like gasoline for
the rest of the day.
The mower instructions say to prime the engine with three
squirts of gas using the handy primer button.
However, my husband has told me that our post-menopausal mower needs
more than that to get started.
couldn’t remember how many squirts, so I pressed the primer button nine times,
hoping I would not flood the engine.
yanked the starter cord more times than the House of Representatives has voted
to repeal Obamacare.
I decided to go up to a lucky thirteen
squirts. More yanking, during which I tried not to imagine what that action was
doing to my elbow joint.
The engine did not even turn over.
I wondered if the engine would cooperate if I smoked a
cigar, as Mr Heart of Gold Neighbor does.
seems to have no trouble
Not having a cigar, I put the mower back in
the garage and went inside to think about whether covering the mower with a
blanket would be a fire hazard.
Half an hour later, I tried again.
After three yanks, the mower sprang to life and said, “Well, hot damn, I
guess I do have to mow the lawn today after all.”
After mowing a few rows, I noticed that my hair felt weird,
as if it was poinging up out of my skull.
That’s what I get for not wearing a real hat, I said to myself.
But no, it was not my hair rebelling, but
drops of sleet on my bare head.
I soldiered on, thinking
fondly of the days when our son was not at college on lawn-mowing days.
As the Wintry Mix on the mower started to look like a
Jackson Pollock painting
(except in black and gray), I decided it wasn’t that
not to overestimate the number of leaves that the mower bag can hold.
I am always fearful that this is a fire
hazard, but then I reasoned that only a Boy Scout can start a fire on wet
leaves when the weather is 26° and sleeting, and even then the Boy Scout needs
dryer lint and a lot of matches.
|Is it a fire hazard when the leaves get backed up in the mower|
like this, or just a yucky mess?
When the sleet on the mower began to resemble a Rothko
painting, I decided I was done for today.
Besides, the yard bin was almost full.
I did manage to get one section done, but that’s only one third of
the lawn. Son, it’s your turn.
sitting by the fire, which remains proverbial because we don't have a
fireplace. That would be a fire hazard.
|Nearly full yard waste bin|