Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Mowed Down

Saturday, as I was out walking and chatting with koogrr on the phone, I waved to my neighbor who was out on her riding mower. The average lawn in this neighborhood is less than a quarter of an acre, but 90% of us have riding lawn mowers anyway. In truth, a low-end riding mower is only about twice as much as a decent walk-behind mower, and a low easier to use. Lut and I have one ourselves. Sadly, it doesn't make us much more likely to mow the lawn. Spring is here, the grass is growing, and we hadn't mowed the lawn yet. Lut had set the battery on the mower to charge Saturday morning and -- in theory -- he would mow the lawn this weekend. Usually he gets the parts of the lawn that the riding mower can cover, and I get the rest. It's about the same amount of time for both, although it's a lot more effort to do the (much smaller) areas that the riding mower can't get to.

Usually we actually get around to mowing the lawn once for every two or three weekends that we plan to mow it on. In the summertime, the lawn should be mowed once a week. In practice, it's more like once a month. Are you familiar with the expression "gone to seed" to describe something badly neglected? That's what my lawn was doing.

My neighbor put her mower into park and beckoned me over. "You know," she said, "if you ever want me to mow your lawn for you, I will. I don't mind."

I gaped at her. "Any time you want to mow my lawn," I assured her, "you are more than welcome to do so."

She asked for gas money to do it, which was understandable at today's gas prices. She guessed $10. I gave her $20, because it was easily worth that much to me not to have to worry about it.

About an hour later, when I was back inside, we heard her mowing the lawn. I explained to Lut about her offer. Then the doorbell rang.

"Um ... did you have a pipe running across your front yard?" my neighbor asked.


The sump pump puts out a ton of water, so to get it away from the house we've got seventy five feet or so of two-inch diameter plastic hose running from the house to the storm sewer ditch at behind the backyard. This works nicely to keep my lawn from turning into an overwatered swamp. Lut's always mowed right over it with our lawn tractor, which he keeps at a fairly high setting, so I didn't think of it.

Apparently, my neighbor's lawn mower rides somewhat lower, and had chewed up the hose rather impressively. She was terribly apologetic about it. I wasn't the least upset: I hadn't warned her, and the pipe is practically invisible even when the grass is short. When she mowed it, the grass was a foot and half tall. She never had a chance. So not her fault. Also, the hose is cheap stuff.

Anyway, now I do have to remember to get a new 2" hose. I bagged the remnants in the garage, but possibly should look to see if there's a salvageable length -- we'd made the hose long enough by connecting a couple of shorter hoses, and I'm not sure where it got chewed up.

In the meantime: hey, my lawn is mowed! Cool.

Now, if I could just convince her to bag my leaves ...
Tags: life
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