07 May 2006

Grass! (The Kind You Mow.)

In previous posts I've mentioned our property......
We live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath log home on 2 1/2 acres with lots of trees.
A five acre pond adjoins our property at the rear.
It really is a lovely place......people passing in cars frequently slow, point, and come to a stop to admire the view.

We bought and moved into this home on Halloween of 1992.

Spring of '93 arrived wet........
Remember the floods of '93?
I can safely vouch for the fact that grass absolutely loves rain and 92 degree temperatures!

When the grass started threatening I realized I had overlooked something:
Our previous property was about 1/2 acre,
and I mowed that with a 21 inch push mower.
That mower wasn't gonna make a dent in this big lot with the rain coming down and grass growing like a nightmare.

I've been mowing grass for a Spinster neighbor for many years.
She owned a 38" riding mower.
She came up with this proposal: Mow her lawn for free and I could use her mower to mow our property all summer.

I was glad for the offer.....I didn't have much choice.
I had used up most of my "liquid" assets putting a down payment on the house and buying new furniture and carpeting.

Mowing this property with her mower took 5 hours!
That's a long, long time to drone along on a riding mower, circling every tree two or three times to keep from having to come back with a trimmer.
Pretty quickly I realized I was wearing her mower out. There are many trees with exposed roots on our property that were bending the mower deck on her mower. More and more nickel and dime things would break on it, and I began to be fearful something big would explode....then I'd feel obligated to buy her a new mower, and I'd have nothing to show for it.

At the end of mowing season I discussed the problem with Sara Jean:
We needed a new mower, and we needed something much bigger than a 38" garden tractor.

I started comparison shopping.
Pretty quickly I settled on the idea of spending "dinero largo" on something that would do a good job and would take the punishment this big yard could dish out.

I ended up buying a Grasshopper Commercial Mower.
I paid more for this machine than I have paid for many cars I have purchased.
But it mows the lawn and does a great job at 7.5 miles per hour......it turned a dreaded five hour task into a relatively enjoyable 2 hour experience......I love driving the thing.......I call it my "lunar lander".

We're now in our 13th season mowing with this machine. It has had a few glitches in that time, but the things that have broken have been readily replaced at a reasonable price.

It reinforced a lesson I learned some time back.......if you can afford it, go 1st class.
"Getting by" saves you money up front, but can cost you in more ways than you might imagine later.
Going 1st class with the Grasshopper has saved me time and money over 13 years, and it is still going strong!


the golden horse said...

Did you ever consider sheep there GB?
At least you are enjoying the ride.
Nothing nicer than the smell of fresh cut grass.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you tell about Big Bubba and how many hours he spent on the machine?

Greybeard said...

Good question, FM.....

Big Bubba has spent many hours mowing other properties with the Grasshopper.....made good money with it two years in a row.

The thrust of my post was more about the use of a good tool and how it was better to buy and use a good tool, rather than an inferior one.

Big Bubba's extra use does make my point stronger though!

Anonymous said...

A metaphor, perhaps?!

Aviatrix said...

Do you still mow the spinster's lawn, too?

TwoDogs said...

See what you have started, GG, with that little comment about sheep???

And GB was just talking about how much he enjoyed mowing the grass....
At least, I think that is what he was talking about......But, not sure now after re-reading everything! Could it be that it has nothing to do with "Grass (The Kind You Mow.)" ??? Or even the kind you smoke, for that matter!!!
GB, What is this post really about ?????

See, GB and GG, others think just like me.... Yea!!! I always knew I wasn't alone. Weird sometimes, yes, but never alone. (At least, not in my mind!)

Greybeard said...

Yes, Avi.....we still mow her lawn.
Big Bubba does it most of the time now with the Grasshopper....it takes longer to drive it to her house than to mow her property!

And Anon......
Going 1st class is almost always a good idea, IF you can afford the fare!


TwoDogs said...

Now, I'm off to mow my lawn.....
Catch you later!

Anonymous said...

Yes, GB, I agree!!! I thought we might be on the same wavelength. Is this a good thing?!


Riding mower? Give me a break, GB. When I was a kid, we didn't have "riding" mowers. In fact, we didn't have a mower, period. We pulled the stuff by hand; sometimes with our teeth. It was hard, blistering work, and it didn't take no five hours to complete. Sometimes I'd pull grass for weeks, and when I got through, I had to start at the other end again.

Riding mower--sheesh, you got it made in the shade, Buddy.

Greybeard said...

I know, Dave.....

Heard you walked uphill in two feet of snow against the wind both to, and from school.....

The cows had to be milked three times a day.....

And you've never been able to afford anything other than a manual transmission.

Life is just tough all around!

Di said...

I could use a neighbor like you!!! I have my own John Deere riding lawn mower, if I could just get someone to use it!!! I'd tackle the yard myself, but we have mountains and rather hilly yards here, so I have this fear I'd end up UNDER the mower!!

Seriously, great story, as usual, and I see a metaphor as well!! You're a phenomenal writer!!

Greybeard said...

What's the job pay, and where do you live, Di? I work cheap!

A strong word that I'm not sure I'd agree with, but thank you.
I'm tryin' my best to be interesting here.

And the metaphor?
Don't you just love a mystery?