Almost too Late

mudmoundThe Dilemma: Mow - before it’s too late.

Why is that such a big deal? 1.) Anxiety. 2.) Two mowers, neither works. 3.) Anxiety. 4.) Lots of deep hoof prints and horse “piles,” if you know what I mean, and 5.) Anxious to beat the band.

You could add “single old lady” to the list, but that’s taking the pity party a bit farther than I like. We’ll just leave that tidbit out, ok?

Did I mention anxiety?

(Before I forget, the Associated Press approved the word “website.” Next up for consideration is “email” instead of “e-mail.” It’s about time! Anyway, back to the dilemma at hand…)

It doesn’t take long before it’s too late; not here in Arkansas. The growing season starts the second half of March and goes all the way into November. And, when things start growing, they don’t fart around. Give something, usually a weed, a week and you’ve got a three-foot-tall problem that’s about to be too much for a typical lawn mower to hack down.

The first weed to take off is this thing with yellow flowers that look like buttercups. I don’t know what they are, don’t care, but when let go, they end up as 5 foot tall bushes with wood stalks. Right along with those incessant buttercup wannabes is these very strange mud cone things (pictured). They are cool, amazing looking things, totally bizarre, and they pop up all over the place over night. What could possibly erect these things?

Anyway, with both mowers D. O. A., I had to come up with a Plan B and fast. I called my wonderful neighbor who didn’t hesitate a heartbeat when he said “yes” to my tentative question about borrowing one of his. To me, that is a huge favor to grant. Those dang riding mowers cost as much as banger car to begin with, and an arm and a leg if something goes ca-flooey with it and it needs repair. I hated to ask, and was amazed when he said yes.

So, off I go, tooling around for over 4 hours to hack away at what had already grown too much to the point where it was almost too late to tackle with a lawn mower. The weather was cool, cloudy, it was looking like rain and it was the perfect time to waste driving a loud, obnoxious machine in circles for what felt like eternity. I only hit the high areas, not the whole property.

The mower got hot. After awhile, it was too hot to keep the sweatshirt on. So, I took it off and finished out the chore in a tank top. The heat from the mower kept me warm enough in the cool, and the tank top kept me cool enough from the heat blowing back from the engine. Grabbed my headphones too and enjoyed listening to an entire album while I drove in infinite circles. Over bumps. Big bumps. Bone jarring, teeth rattling bumps. There are no shock absorbers on riding lawn mowers.

I kept the speed slow, very slow, crawling slow, which is why it took so long. I couldn’t risk rattling my neighbor’s lawnmower apart. The bouncing was killing me too. And sections were so thick and tall that I had to mow them down inch by inch or the engine would bog. It took a long time, it felt great to get it done and even better to return the mower to its rightful owner.

Imagine my surprise when I came inside to find that I was now a bright, lobster red. Face, neck, arms and chest are sunburned. I may even peel, it’s that bad. That was an added perk I didn’t expect. It’ll be tan tomorrow.

I hit the shower, careful to keep the water temp not as hot as I like it. I hope I didn’t clog the drain with all the dirt, dust and clippings I had covering me. To celebrate, I bush hogged my legs. It was almost too late for that chore too. Another week and it would’ve taken a weed whacker to do the job.

Yeah, it was almost too late.

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