Back into the routine called mowing

Our front yard. Pretty but a PITA to mow.

For the first time this year, my front yard is mowed — at least by me.

Jeff Belshan and Keith Bowman graciously mowed it a few weeks ago, when both mower and I were laid up (for different reasons) but I’ m more or less on my feet now and another friend — Mitch Cundiff — offered to help get my eight-year-old Troy-Bilt Pony back chopping the grass.

After finding the mower’s four-stroke Briggs & Stratton engine starting mixing gas and oil together and making a mess, Mitch replaced the carb. Then we drained the oil (which smelled to high heaven like gasoline), blew the excess out of the chamber of the single-engine, 500cc motor, replaced the spark plug and solenoid and it fired up, belched smoke for a while, and settled into a steady roar.

So I mowed….and mowed…and mowed…until nearly all of the three and a half acres were clipped, with my arms neck sunburned and I staggered into the house, exhausted.

The yard was one of the things that convinced us to buy the house and property in 2004 when we left Washington (DC) after 23 years. It slopes down a long drop to a creek that runs through the lowest part.

There really is no level spot on it, which has sent more than one mower to the worn-out bin. A previous owner decided to expand the yard by cutting down a lot of trees and buried the stumps, which are now decomposing and leaving sinkholes in the lower half.

I sacked out for a couple of hours after putting the mower away in the shed. Trimming is still needed, along with cutting the sunken areas. Maybe on Tuesday. My thanks to Jeff, Keith and Mitch. Couldn’t have made it without you.

Friends are a precious commodity.

Mowing the large yard for the first time back in the Spring of 2005 on a brand new John Deere riding mower. (Photo by Amy Thompson)
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