I went to the clinic yesterday (Saturday). After hacking violently for a week, on top of working late several nights and having a strong desire to relax, I was fed up. I got some good stuff, some sort of antihistimine plus codeine cough syrup. I slept like the dead and woke up this morning with what felt like a bit of a hangover.
With all the rest, I felt strong. More than I’ve felt for half a month. I got to work. The lawn needed attention; the warm weather had jumpstarted its growth in areas and a good trim would even it out. I went to the hardware store and bought a new blade, sparkplug and oil. Returning home, I grabbed the yard waste cans and started picking up all the fallen branches that had accumulated over the winter, binding the large ones up with twine. Then I pulled the mower out and set up the handle, dust and leaves rattling off as everything suddenly snapped into place.
I flipped the mower onto its side, air filter up, and grabbed my socket wrench, WD40, a block of wood, and a rubber mallet. I jammed the wood between the blade and the edge of the mower, then I gave the bolt a good whack with the mallet. Nothing hard; I just wanted to loosen the dust and grime that had been caked on there in the summer heat. Then I sprayed the bolt down with the WD40 and set to work with the wrench. The bolt gave way with the consistency of spreading a large piece of butter on hot bread. I installed the new blade easily and flipped the mower back upright.
Grabbing my makeshift oil pan (a milk jug cut in half), I tilted the mower back on its side so the oil could drain. I sat and stared at all the dead dinosaurs pouring out of it, black and thick. It was definitely time, I thought, pouring the new oil in. New oil looks like popcorn butter. I make a note of that as I think about going to the movies this summer.
Finally, I flip the mower back right side up and set to work on that sparkplug with the socket wrench again. Pulling the charred end out, I think back to when I first set up the mower with my dad in the September heat. There was no reason to get new parts last year; I had only mowed for a short time the season before. This year, however, it was time.
I filled the tank up with new gas and started it up, hesitating at first as if to get used to all the new things that had been added to it. Then the familiar sound of combustion and whirling blades filled the air and I smiled.
You can also browse through the Parlor archives.
Keep up to date with my email newsletter. Newsletters are sent at least quarterly.
Stay up to date with my Feed in your favorite newsreader!
Check out who is linking to me with my Technorati Profile.