Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Reel Good Time!

It took me two hours to cut my lawn, increasing my time from 45 minutes and I feel great!

Like a teenager, my lawnmower began giving reasons as to why it did not want to cut the lawn so I called a friend who has the magic touch with all thing mechanized. The carburetor is non-repairable and must be replaced (must have gotten that trait from his cheap uncle). I’ve suddenly had the urge to go a different direction and instead of repairing the mower, made a note to self and seek out a Reel Mower—you know, the “old timey” kind with the 5 spinning spiral blades. In the meantime, the grass grows.

Though I’ve mowed uncounted miles of lawns over the course of my lifetime, I don’t ever remember having as much difficulty as I’ve experienced the last few years when I mow. I am “done for the day” if I mow. This last year, I’ve had to cover my face to protect my sinuses despite the medication. Then this idea of the Reel mower creeps into my head: no engine noise, no parts to replace, no gas and oil expenditure and no exhaust fumes!
While this idea stayed in the front of my mind, I could not help but notice the father of my future son-in-law swinging a weed cutter as he walked across his lawn, knocking down stubborn weed stalks. Something within me said, “I gotta get me one of those.”

So, as my lawn grows I remembered that another friend borrowed our mower frequently in the past, and since I had not heard from him at all this season thought to give him a call to see if I could borrow his mower (assuming he acquired one)—call in a favor kind-of-thing. Turns out he did have a mower: a reel mower! I picked up the mower, borrowed the weed cutter and got to work. I’m addicted.
Two sounds I absolutely love: the hypnotic whirring of the blades as it cuts (not rips) my grass and the rhythmic “snick snick” of the weed cutter as it swings back and forth lopping in the heads off the garden-zombies. If anyone ever says that pushing a reel mower is difficult has either never really tried or has tried in too-tall grass. I can’t think there is anything much easier when it comes to yard-work. Try pushing one up a hill, or even down and see which is lighter!

Since the reel mower will not cut the weed stalks down and only grass blades, one can rake the yard and get a fairly clean pile of cut grass with minimal weed seeds. Great for composting! I nearly filled one entire garbage can of grass clippings for the compost pile!
Another great benefit of this is I burn twice as many calories pushing the reel mower, swinging the weed cutter and raking. Much better than gasping behind a mower with a deafening growl.  My arms are strengthened as I swing the weed cutter, alternating left and right as I cross the lawn.

I feel better,  stronger and am even able to think more clearly working in the yard like this. I can’t wait for next week when I get to do it all over again!

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