Monday, November 2, 2009

A cut above: Historic season ends in a win

Although I’m not sure how many times the turf saw action, it seems that the average record for the year was about an even tie. The playoffs, however, were not a match up to be missed. Both teams put in a full blown effort both offensively and defensively.
I am, of course, speaking about mowing the lawn.
With the exception of my sister-in-law’s father who prides himself on mowing the lawn ten months out of the year, we are all just about done with arduous task that is keeping the yard neat and tidy. This was indeed a season that saw great action.
I am probably an oddity, but I genuinely love to mow the lawn. Perhaps it is seeing the lines and the instant gratification of a clean-cut surface, or maybe it’s the feeling of accomplishment knowing that I am strong enough to pull start the machine. Or really, maybe it’s just the fact that when the mower is running the sound of the children playing/fighting/asking for juice is completely drowned out and oddly enough, even at 90 decibels, mowing is sometimes the only minutes of peace this mother gets.
This season, my mower and I had our battles. It started off early on when I was informed by my loving husband that I “mowed the lawn like a 9-year-old, just back and forth” and “why don’t you go diagonally for a change and please, watch your lines. They’re crooked.” Such words of encouragement from a coach, right? Score one for the other team.
I took that constructive criticism and swallowed my pride and bit my tongue and went to work on straight, diagonal lines. Once approved, I happily gave myself a mark in the win column.
Then there was the time I hit the rock. And the tree stump. And a few sand toys. Score a few for the other team.
But back in the saddle, I managed to not shred a single garden hose and became quite proficient in unclogging the mower. Tally on my side.
The lawn mower and I in a dead tie, we both headed this week for the World Series Supermow: The last cut of the year.
In one corner, the mower. Facing a variety of injuries which included something broken that wouldn’t let it propel itself more than 25 feet without needing adjusting. Its cover had been torn off in attempts to piece it back together, and after a few months of me slicing up tree stumps, the blade could barely cut butter.
In the other corner, a weary me. I had an exhausting day and had to give myself pep talk and a double espresso just to get the mower out of the garage. The children were busy playing and not watching their youngest sister, who, at 28 pounds ended up riding in a backpack for the majority of the competition. I also had a time constraint, wanting to get the job of mowing straight and diagonal lines done before my husband arrived home from work.
Game on, mower, game on.
Row by row, squatting down with a 3,000 pound backpack every few feet to adjust the throttle, I played the game. When the mower didn’t stop completely, it ran at turtle speed (literally, the little turtle guy was the only setting that worked) and I had to push the thing up and over every stump, rock, and toy. It was fierce combat with much sweat and noise, right down to the last minute and the last square inch of long blades of grass.
When it was over, I wheeled it back into its locker room and looked around at what was essentially my victory, albeit one that came with a broken back, green-stained hands, and the lovely odor of grass and gasoline.
“What’s for dinner?” someone asked.
My only reply was, “I’m going to Disneyworld.”

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