So I mowed my new lawn for the first time, last night, using my spanking new corded electric mulching mower (I tried to buy a cordless electric mulching mower on Craigslist, but I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m just not built for Craigslist. I don’t like the competitive bid situation, the lag time between deciding on something and seeing if it will work out, the driving all over town, the danger factor— I don’t mind buying secondhand, but the whole logistics portion alone gets problematic for me, fast. This time, I had to cancel an appointment to get a mower last week when the move blew up, the seller was really nice about it, said she’d be in touch Sunday if the mower was still available. She contacted me last night while I was mowing, to say her mower (which would have cost me half what I paid for a new one) was still available. I felt bad, but the lawn grows every day— I need to get to a solution pretty quickly. I swear I cut about four inches of grass off that back lawn.)
I used to mow my lawn as a kid and I briefly mowed neighbors’ lawns for cash. It’s pretty not worth it, cash-wise, for me, because I’m allergic to grass and it’s a completely miserable way to spend time. Sic four nap-deprived, sugar-revved kids on me, and I’m a pro; but stick me behind an allergy factory in the hot sun, and I just hate everything about it.
This wasn’t too bad. I used it in the evening, when the sun wasn’t so hot. I like the mulcher a lot, I like that it’s electrical and not as loud or smelly as the gas machines I used as a kid. They also used to fling pebbles against my legs, which I found added significantly to my misery. The mower I have didn’t do that. Not having to touch the grass for bagging is helpful for me (as is 25 + years of allergy medication innovation). I would have liked to get a reel mower, and try that, but in the end, the whole Craigslist thing put me too far behind, and having bought the electric mulcher new at more than twice what I’d hoped to spend on it, I’m not sure that I’m interested enough to do both. I was pretty sure I’d run over the cord my first time, and I didn’t, so I’m calling that a victory.
The lawn is quirky—obstacles and hills in strange places— and bigger than it seemed not behind a mower. Between putting the mower together and finding outlets and cleaning up the yard, the process took me nearly three hours, which is much longer than I thought, but I think the learning curve on that should be better now that I’ve been through it once— “will the cord stretch here? Oh it will. Great. Ooh, but not here…” “Oh look at those rocks in the grass— going to have to figure out a better solution for those…” Also the grass was tall— if I don’t let it get that bad before I mow again, it shouldn’t take quite so many passes. I also was the geek who seriously looked through the manual before I got started, which took some time.
But it was also instructive. I had to have mom do dinner because I couldn’t do both before 9 p.m., and it was good to find a legitimate way to ask her to step up a little. She keeps telling me every time she fills the pet fountain, like she wants to be sure she’s getting credit for pitching in, but she’s not filling the pet fountain enough, so she has to do it a lot (and yes, I have told her how to fill it, and she’s encountered it many times over the years). That’s not the level of work we’ll be doing around here— we’re all going to have to step up a little more seriously because there is a lot to be done, here.