My lawn mower is getting ready to die. It vibrates at lot, and my little Toyota is too small to haul it to one of those lawn mower repair places. After I’ve gripped the handle for awhile, my hands and arms get numb all the way up past my elbows. I intended to mow the lawn yesterday, but woke up to blessed rain that wasn’t in the forecast, so I put it off until today so the grass wouldn’t be all soggy. Unlike everyone else in Portland, I love rain. Guess I’m in the right place!
I got the front yard done. The front yard is the hardest; a slope goes up from the sidewalk, and it gives me a real workout pushing the heavy mower up to the point where it levels off in front of the house. Every single time, I’m tempted to hire one of the neighborhood kids, but I will make myself do it as long as I can because it’s such good exercise, and it gets easier after the first couple of times after the long winter hiatus, but today, I’m about ready to collapse.
I had barely started on the backyard when the left rear wheel rolled across the grass. Washers and wheel parts shot out sideways. I shut off the lawn mower. I have an electric mower–my small contribution to air quality. I hate the smell of the exhaust that comes out of gas mowers. I was smart, mindful. I unplugged the 100-foot extension cord from the socket on the mower before I laid it on its side to look at the wheel situation.
I am not mechanical. At all. I’m a nerd–I love techy things like programming languages and configuring computers and things like that. But I am spatially impaired to the point of having a learning disability when it comes to putting physical objects together. You know when you go to Fred Meyer or Lowe’s and they have this cute little magazine rack or table? When you buy it, you get a flat carton. Inside are pieces of wood and a sheet of paper with what are supposed to be instructions. I have several of these in my house, and it probably took me three times as long to put them together as it would a kindergartner. Sewing was like that, too–right sides together? Ha ha ha ha ha.
So–this afternoon, there I was with a lawn mower, a wheel, and no instructions at all. It took a long time. I went in the house and got a wrench out of my tool drawer. It was really, really complicated. The thing that was attached to the wheel that came off had an infinite number of possible positions. I now know far more than I ever wanted to know about wheel placement. The humidity made it feel far more than the 84 degrees it was. Sweat ran into my eyes, dripped off my chin, and trickled down my sides. My hands got sticky while I figured it out. It required a wrench in one hand and a pair of pliers in the other… both in tight-squeeze places. I so envy those for whom this comes “natural,” but I got that wheel back on and I finished mowing the lawn. All by my feckin’ self, so there.
But the wheel’s kinda wobbly and it’s only a matter of time before it falls off again…