Friday, March 21, 2008

Breakin' In JD

We're all back home and the yard has reached maximum ratty status so I dusted the cat hair off the old lawn tractor and hoped it would start. Actually, I first hoped I had gas and that I could find the pump for the flat front tire.

When we first moved into our house, we had our new-home-buyer goggles on and the three acres of park-like lawn sucked me in. When you purchase a house with three acres, the first thing you do is spend another several thousand on a riding lawn mower. So we came to own our John Deere that even now is worth more than my husband's minivan. I pored over the owner's manual and did everything right. I watched the video. By gum this mower is going to last forever!

In the midst of the park-like lawn was a quarter-acre patch of weeds that was beyond mowing and even beyond the DR Field and Brush Mower you see on TV ripping through small trees. Once upon a time it was a vegetable garden, but the divorcing previous owners had let their TLC lapse. It was a veritable jungle in the midst of my park.

So on my very first mow, I carefully skirted the jungle. Not even gonna try. Didn't matter. Some shitty hidden tomato cage stuck its prongs out and the full force of my John Deere blades guaranteed it was a twisted mass under the mowing deck bringing everything to a grinding halt. Was that my heart that just exploded from my chest?

Now you can't just prop a riding mower on its side to take care of business so I spent the rest of the day on my back trying to unwind the tomato cage from the blades in between crying jags. And that's the story of how we broke'er in. Since then, she's taken out several kid toys, a snake and my North Face jacket that had the misfortune of falling off the seat. I'd never seen anything sucked under so fast and so completely. I was to find bits of that jacket over the lawn for the rest of the summer.

It's true what they say: nothing runs, shreds and destroys like a Deere.
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