Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Feel So Accomplished!

This week I mowed a lawn for the first time in my life.  I even did the weed-eating and edging!  I have never done any of these things, ever.  It's hard to imagine how I could have gone 32 years without once doing so.  When I was a kid, my older brother and I mowed lawns to make money, but he was always the mower and I did the raking.  And at home, either Mom, Dad, or my older brother mowed the lawn.  I was usually the one to clean the pool.  Then when I moved into my own place I didn't have a mower and couldn't afford to buy one.  Luckily my landlord's dad was retired and would come over now and then to do a quick mowing.  And then when I got married and DH and I bought a house, taking care of the yard was his duty. 

But our yard has been looking really ratty lately.  The weeds are growing like wildfire and DH has been too busy to work in the yard.  So yesterday I decided to buck up and make an attempt at wielding those intimidating lawn tools.  I didn't think the weed-eating and edging would be so bad since they are electric.  I figured all I'd have to do is plug them in and press the button, right?  The weed-eating went pretty well although at first I was a little too timid with it. Once I realized that it was okay if the string accidentally hit the fence and wouldn't hurt it, it was easier going.  The edging was crap!  I don't know if it's the edger or if I just don't know quite how to handle it.  I used the weed-eater first to get enough of the grass and weeds out of the way so I could see where to line up the edger.  But the roots were so thick right along the edge of the sidewalk that the edger didn't seem to work so well.  But I eventually got it to look pretty good!  It's a very satisfying feeling. 

And then today I tackled mowing.  This one was the most intimidating because I knew I had to pull that stupid starter line to get it going.  I imagined spending 15 minutes yanking on that thing while nothing happened.  I imagined the neighbors would be outside and would hear me struggling and would secretly laugh at my incompetence.  I also imagined some nice neighbor being kind enough to come to my rescue.  He or she would then compliment me on my beautiful edging and weed-eating, and be even more impressed when I admitted that it was my very first time doing either.

When I first started trying to get the mower started, I thought my fears were going to come true.  Pull, pull, pull, and nothing doing.  I walked away for a minute and came back and tried again.  Still nothing. I had checked the oil and filled the gas tank before trying to start the mower.  I even primed it by pressing the button 3 times just like it said on the side of the mower.  I thought about priming it again, especially since this was the first time the mower had been used since last summer, but worried that it would flood the engine.  Can you do that with a lawnmower?  I just knew that I'd do something wrong and the mower would burst into flames, catch the lawn on fire, and then my house would go down in a towering inferno.  All without ever getting the lawnmower to actually start. 

But after trying the second time to get it running with no luck, I figured priming it again could only help.  And it did!  Worked like a charm, in fact.  It started right up on the first pull after that.  Ha!  I knew I could do this!  After that it was smooth sailing.  Mowing isn't nearly as hard as it looks.  Of course it's only April, so I imagine it would be much less pleasant during the summer when the humidity and temperatures are so high that being outside for more than 2 seconds is unbearable.  I'm so happy with how nice and neat my backyard looks right now!  It's always great to be able to see hard work pay off.  And I only got one blister.  Not bad for my first effort at lawn care. 

Mower found here.


  1. I'm so proud of you and I can relate to your excitement! I never mowed until a few years ago when I decided it might be good exercise and to give my husband a break. It's liberating, isn't it?!?!

    Yes, it will be worse when it's really hot. You'll have to learn to time your mows before it gets too unbearable, but if you can't avoid it, make sure you take enough breaks and drink lots of water. It really IS exercise!

    Congratulations! You're a step ahead of me. I've never edged before, but I suppose there's always a first time, eh?

  2. I'm impressed. I am 52 and have still never mowed a lawn.

  3. Kathy - Thanks! It does make me feel pretty good. And it's even nicer to sit outside and enjoy how nice the yard looks, and know that I am the one who made it that way!

    Pseudo - I'm very glad to know that I'm not the only one. :)

  4. Surfie!! Yes!!! I've been known to sit out back on my patio and stare at my handiwork. And then I ask my husband to concur with me that it is the finest lawn he's ever seen. Really, so very happy for you!

  5. I haven't read any blog yet

  6. Congratulations!

    I find mowing the lawn very meditative, however this year I have finally yielded to a lawn service so as to conserve my energy for other things.

    Sometimes in the early spring I would have to let my push mower sit in the sun for about 15 minutes or so in order to avoid the pull pull pull show. I think it's actually because the motor is so cold in the spring temps you have a harder time getting it started. If you let it sit out in the sun, it'll usually start right off as long as you have primed it first.

    By the way, I love weed-whacking, however I tend to get carried away with it, as the power to make little imperfections disappear becomes quite addicting.


  7. Oh, my gosh, you're my hero!

    I'm terrified of the lawnmower. I am QUITE sure ours will burst into flames or somehow overtake me and grind me into a million pieces. Luckily Dave takes those risks, so I don't have to.

  8. Jenji - If I could afford it, I would probably like to hire a lawn service during the summer when it will be miserable out in the heat. We don't have the problem with needing the mower to warm up. It's plenty warm here already if the grass is growing. :)

    JD - I do have some vivid imaginings about those fears. Those little pictures of warning don't help either! I'm old hat at mowing now though. I've mown the backyard another time and yesterday I mowed the front yard! I'd better be careful or my DH will think he never has to mow again. :)