The First Mowing of Spring

I’m not sure why it is, but the first time I get my lawn mower out, when spring is technically here, it is a time fraught with nerves!  When the trees start greening and flowers start popping up, I begin watching the yard.  I’ve never yet been able to time it right.  I decide that I need to break out the lawn mower and overnight the grass grows a foot!

There’s a fellow in my church who has been helping me every year to get the lawn mower ready for service.  He takes the blades off and gets them sharpened up and then changes the oil.  Usually, I have a quart of oil ready for him but this year, when he came, I had forgotten to get the oil.

I ran over to Walmart to get my usual black bottle of SAE 30 oil and discovered that they didn’t have it!  They had yellow bottles and blue bottles and black bottles with large lettering on it.  I couldn’t find my little black bottle!  I ended up picking a bottle that had “30” on it and took it home to ask my lawn mower guy.  He didn’t seem too upset over it, so we’ll see how it goes.

We got the oil in the mower and, taking the lawn mower out of the garage onto the driveway, LMG (Lawn Mower Guy) scraped out three months of chopped grass from under the mower.  When I’m done mowing, I usually bounce the lawn mower before taking it in the garage.  I tilt the mower up and let it fall.  I do it to both the front and the back.  The idea is that the grass will fall out of the mower.  It does work pretty well but apparently doesn’t get all the grass out.

LMG had me mow a little bit to make sure that all the moving parts were attached and there wasn’t any smoke coming out.  It worked, so he headed home, and I mowed a couple of rows.  I didn’t want to mow too much because I have a system for this type of thing, and I didn’t want to mess with that.

I would never make a good professional lawn mower.  I have too many rules.  I have to mow at 8:00 in the morning while it’s still cool.  (Sometimes, in the middle of August, I’ll mow at 7:30!)  Then, once I get started, I don’t want to mow too long – an hour is just about long enough.  I’ve divided my yard into four divisions, and it works just right.  It takes me four days, but I don’t have a problem with that.  I figure that, if it takes me four days to mow my yard, and I wait 3 days to start up again, that makes it so that every week, my yard gets mowed.  No one has ever accused me of making anything simple!

The morning after, I got the lawn mower out of the garage and started the process.  I have to say that there were some places where the grass was taller than the mower!  It took a while, but I got the first fourth done.  I took my mower back to the driveway where I bounced it on the cement before putting it back up.

The second day, I went through the process with the second fourth.  This section also involved moving some pavers that I had put down three years ago to try to keep the grass out of a shrub.  (They didn’t work.  The grass kept growing there anyway.)  My yard was now halfway mowed, and I was feeling pretty good! 

This morning I got up to finish the front yard and found the temperature had dropped to below freezing!!  I don’t think you can mow the grass when you are bundled up in a heavy parka with woolen mittens and a hat with earflaps – can you? 

I gave up and decided to wait until the temperature crawls up above freezing.  What we really need is self-regulating grass that knows when to stop growing!

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