Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Mowing on a Rainy Day

In my column this week, I muse on the nuances of mowing the lawn.

And if you hop over there, yes, that is a picture of me at age 12; and yes, that really is how much smoke used to come out of that miserable old mower.

If you have something to say about any of this, Scene's new website has a user-friendly comment section and you can comment on the article directly (via the above link), or you may tell me off here, or feel free to email my editor Frank Lewis at flewisATclevesceneDOTcom.


Anonymous said...

Great article. Brings back a lot of memories.


deangc said...

Re: riding mowers. When I was about 12, my father put me on the tractor, a 3 cylinder Brown diesel, and I mowed.

The mower was powered by the power take-off. It connected to the tractor via a three-point hitch, and you raised and lowered it with a hydraulic lever on the right side.

The mower itself was a horror machine - I sometimes wonder what my father was thinking putting a 12 year old in charge of it. It was powered by the 40 hp (doesn't sound like much, but that motor had mindblowing torque) tractor. It had two counter-rotating shafts each with a steel blade about 3/8 of an inch thick, 5" wide, and about, oh, 14" long. When we pruned the trees in the winter, we just piled everything under about 2" in the middle of the rows and I ran over them with the mower. It pulverized them.

I used to have nightmares about that mower. It still gives me the willies, thinking about being knocked off the tractor and falling under the mower.

deangc said...

For the engineers in the audience, who will look at my description of the mower above and wonder how the hell it works without shaking itself to pieces:

I mispoke. Each shaft had two of those blades: there were a total of 4. The thing cut about a 60" swath through damn near anything.

Amy Sparks said...

Erin--you're adorable in that pic. Is that a red pocket on your blue shorts?

Erin O'Brien said...

Thanks, RJ

Dean, now I'm a-scairt!

Amy: Howdy stranger and I am SO glad you asked that. That is actually a beer can holder my dad made for the mower. The beer would swing and slosh around like all hell, spilling half the contents, but you've got to give him credit for ingenuity.

Mr. L said...

I mowed less often in the days when I had a riding mower...I guess the walk-behind model has some kind of primal allure.

DogsDontPurr said...

I grew up in a trailer park where each space had a teeny little lawn (72 spaces).

Most of the tenants tended their own lawn, but quite a few paid a little extra to have my Dad do it.

All we had was a shed full of push mowers and clippers for edging.

I would always beg to do the lawns... for some extra "allowance money." But my dad always said No!

Then one year, he got wise and let me do it. There were probably 20 micro lawns that needed doing. And I was soooo determined. Unfortunately, I only lasted for about 2 lawns. Argh! It was HARD WORK!!!!

After that, I was delegated to just weed pulling and edging...occasionally. I was clearly not cut out for yard work!

But I do have fond memories of that time. Especially now. The trailer park was demolished and there is now a Home Depot in it's place.

Erin O'Brien said...

Mr. L. It's because push mowers are chick magnets!

DDP: You always have fascinating stories. I love it when you leave us glimpses of your life.