Twas Thursday. I had started my massacre mission, gradually building up my offensive toward the area of heaviest assault. Forward progress was going along just great when suddenly my equipment for mass decapitation malfunctioned.
Disengaged. That's what it did. Head slicing ceased.
Yup, my main mower went down. At first, I thought it was just a weird coincidence that the blade shut down when the gas tank hit empty. Filling the tank, I climbed back onto the machine and tried to engage the blade.
Further inspection led me to learn that the belt had gone bad. Oh well, I thought, I'll get the back-up mower.
So, I filled its tank, cranked it up and learned that its transmission had disengaged. No forward. No reverse.
Rotten timing, considering that three quarters of the lawn and the segments most inundated with dandelions still needed mowing.
I did what I always do when equipment goes down. I called Tony who has repaired our yard fleet for the past decade.
He said he might be able to make it out the next day. He asked for the model number for the backup mower cuz at that time we both thought maybe it needed a belt too.
While I worked on patience, dandelions continued to grow and spread profusely throughout that unmowed yard, gloating with the knowledge that they had pulled a good one on me. I'm sure the dandelions met the night before and saboutaged my mowers.
The next day Tony came, announcing that he would have to order a belt for Mower No. 1 and later discovering that the broken frame on Mower No. 2 had led to its demise.
He left, saying he would look around town for a temporary fix. He never found one.
Dandelion Heaven was flourishing at the Lovestead, especially knowing that it might be five or six days before SHE embarked on another massacre.
Over dinner, I asked Willie if his buddy Duane Ward had started his mowing season. Willie called and learned that Duane would be available to mow the Lovestead lawn on Monday afternoon.
Well, that was okay, but when I arose yesterday morning I could almost detect great big grins on those dandelions' faces.
There's always the $50 mower, I thought. Tony sold me the $50 green pushmower a few years ago for edging. Nothing wrong with it except for a little oil smoke now and then.
I searched around the place and found the mower in one of the sheds down the lane. After pushing it up to the shop, I filled the gas tank and checked the oil. Then, I tried to start it.
Bill walked out about then, so I asked him if he would try to start it. When he managed to get it going on the second pull, I felt a minor surge of excitement.
We adjusted the wheels so it would decapitate most dandelions in its path, and I went to work, figuring walking around about 1.5 acres of lawn mowing a 1-foot swath would surely get me into shape so that I could at least comprehend my daughter's upcoming 500-mile walk across Spain.
Maybe Annie needs to do this for training, I thought several times as I rounded the north lawn, only to see each time that a whole lot of that north lawn remained yellow.
I worked for nearly three hours pushing that machine and semi-obliterating about 100, 000 dandelions. The lawnmower has a bag, which needs emptying.
When it needs emptying, the lawnmower must be shut down. When the lawnmower needs to be started up again, it's not nearly as cooperative with me as it was with Bill.
About 12 pulls on the cord, along with several squeeze of that primer button in between---that was all I needed to do to get the thing fired up again.
At one point, when it wasn't cooperating, I said some bad words, looked up and saw one of my neighbors out for her morning walk. I know she heard me because she was looking back at me.
"Hi, Joan," I said. "Please don't listen to my cussing."
"Okay," she said and walked on.
Well, during those three hours, I did cuss some more but tried to keep it under my breath as I went round and round and round that patch of yard, killing dandelions and my body.
Finally, I reasoned that to get this patch of yard mowed was gonna take another two hours at best, and the south front lawn still remained. It's twice as big as the north lawn.
I shut off the mower, drove it to the house, went inside, removed all clothing, took a bath and washed my hair------that's all to avoid THE ITCH.
When Bill returned home from a trip to town, my face was still beet red from the intense mowing operation, and, as I told Duane Ward later on the phone, I imploded.
Post implosion, Bill went back to town, purchased a new riding mower which will be here tomorrow morning. When Tony comes later this week to replace the belt on Mower No. 1, Mower No. 2 will go with Tony to his shop for parts and the new mower will assume the name Mower No. 2.
The $50 model will probably hang out at the shop and come out for those occasional trim jobs in tight spots.
And, with luck, 500,000 more dandelions will die here in the Lovestead lawn this week.
Though this spring has been glorious by all of my recent posts, it's important to note that reasons do exist that make some moments better than others----and often there's yard equipment that helps define this differentiation.
Anyway, while waiting for the new version of Lawnmower No. 2 to arrive tomorrow, I'll take advantage of my situation, spend some time in my unmowed yard and try to make some dandies out of dandelions by engaging in each of the following dandelion myths/truths?
Many beliefs involve blowing on the seed head to tell us something we want to know, and these uses are listed below.
- If you blow hard on a dandelion seed head and all the seeds blow off, a wish will come true.
- If a woman blows hard on a seed head and all the seeds blow off, her lover loves only her. If seeds remain, he is not loyal.
- Blow hard on a seed head and the number of seeds left will tell you how many children you will have.
- Blow on a seed head and the number of seeds left will tell you how many years you have left.
- Blow on a seed head until all the seeds are gone. The number of puffs it took will tell you what time it is. Alternatively, blow three times on the seed head and the number of seeds left will tell the time.
- Blow on a seed head and your wish will be carried to your lover.
- If you see seeds falling off the seed head when there is no wind, rain is on the way.
Dandelion flowers also have a deep folkloric history, and beliefs include the following:
- If a child picks a dandelion flower off the plant, he will wet the bed that night.
- To find out if you will be rich, put a dandelion flower under your chin, and the degree of the glow on your chin will be the degree of your financial success.
- If you rub yourself all over with dandelion flowers, you will be welcome everywhere you go and your wishes will be granted.