Just another day in the yard

For me, it was a typical yard work day. My first stop was getting the kinks out of my kink proof garden hose. I fought with it until I broke a sweat then left it there looking like a pile of spaghetti. I figured I’d get back to that next time I needed a water hose.

A squirrel was digging with a purpose in one of the flower beds. It appeared, from the potting dirt spread around the patio, the he’d stopped first at one of the large planters. I wondered if he was the one that left nut shells out on the front steps. Squirrels will play with their nuts almost anywhere, that is if they can remember where they are.

We have some feral cats in the neighborhood. They mostly hang around in front of my neighbor’s house. She does a lot of animal rescue. That’s a noble cause, but I wish she’d train the feral cats to crap in her flower beds. They seem to have an affection for mine until their grown over. Then they just find a spot in the tall grass. Not to worry, your nose will tell you when they’ve visited. Suffice it to say whatever it was they ate spoiled and rotted before they gifted it to me.

I made my inspection tour around the yard. The deer ate all the new leaves from one of the forsythia bushes. Never had them do that to a forsythia. Deer will eat about anything and they stop in every night. I try to avoid stepping in the evidence of their visits. A good friend of mine recommended a brand of deer repellant. It smells so bad you need a hazmat suit to spray it. It out stinks the cat crap by a long shot, but the cats win on linger.

I put it off as long as I could. That usually happens when Suzie-Q yells out the back door asking if I plan to be out there all day. So, I slid the chair back up under the patio table and headed for the lawn mower. I have one of those fancy all wheel drive walk behind mowers. It comes in handy since there is no level ground nearby. This is West Virginia after all. Level ground is rare. I think the high school football field has some hills on it.

The grass grows fast this time of the year. Especially if you fertilize it. I am not sure why we do that. It grows twice as fast and twice as thick as the neighbors. The neighbors weed patch doesn’t grow too tall anyway. This time of year, mowing the lawn often gets rained out. Mowing day can sometimes be pushed back several days, unless you are one of the lawn butchers the neighbors pay to cut their grass. They’ll do it in the pouring rain.

Mine was long, thick and still a little wet so I slapped the side shooter on it hoping that would keep me from clogging up too much. I didn’t help. I had to stop ever so often, flip the mower and clean out underneath. After the third or fourth time flipping it over it was getting to be bothersome. Then came the time about half way through. I sighed, disconnected the spark plug and flipped it up on its side. It was when I heard the snapping noise that I knew something was afoul. I forgot to take off the side shooter. After I turned it upright, I saw the mulch cover just flapping. I fooled with it a few minutes knowing it was broken and there was no way to reattach it. So, with a big hole in the side of the mower I tossed the cover aside and finished mowing.

The mower worked just fine. It never clogged once while I traveled the remainder of the yard in a cloud of grass clippings. When I finished, I was covered with grass. I had it in my ears, in my nose and most everywhere else. Suzie-Q was not pleased, and I was required to de-clothe in the garage.

I ordered a new mulch door cover. Just to be safe, I also ordered all the parts that go with it including a new torsion spring. After many failed attempts, I concluded it was not intended that any human should be able to replace that spring. You know how you can find a video for practically anything. For the hundreds of lawn mower repair videos from the how-to guys there was not even one showing a technique for replacing this particular spring. That’s because no one can do it. But I’ll keep trying, because I’m hard headed that way and I don’t like undressing in the garage.

If you happen to be driving through and see a cloud of grass clippings moving around, drop by. I’ll provide the cool beverage while you put that spring on for me.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry