Today I arose at 6:45 AM. I didn't want to get up but I was awake and I needed to get moving. You see, I had to mow my aunt's yard. Since I live in Florida and it is July, the earlier you start that chore, the better chance you have of surviving the ordeal.
The yard is actually three narrow lots. Overall, the property is about 150 foot by 150 foot. On it are two small houses (almost cottages). The yard is a bit overgrown. Seriously overgrown. If you have watched any of the British Open and had a look at the rough, you will get an idea of how overgrown her yard was. Except her yard was worse.
In order to mow her yard, because she has no mower, I had to load my mower into the trunk of my car . I managed to do this without pulling a muscle or damaging anything vital. Including the car.
My mower is a 21" self-propelled one. It is not a riding mower. You must walk behind it. You must pull it back when that maneuver is needed, there is no reverse. At least I didn't have to push it. This was my weapon for the battle against thigh high weeds. Yes, I said thigh high. Above the knee... by a number of inches.
The temperature when I finally arrived at 9 AM (hey! I had to drink some coffee before leaving and load the mower... one does not rush into these things) was 83 degrees. The humidity somewhere above 90%. A typical summer day here in Paradise.
I managed to unload the mower at my aunt's, again without sustaining injury. I had also brought with me two 20 oz bottles of Gatorade and one 20 oz bottle of water, all chilled nicely. And a hat. And sunglasses. The (hopefully) life sustaining liquids were placed in the refrigerator , the hat and sunglasses on my head in their proper places. I was ready.
After priming the carburetor, I pulled the starter cord and the mower sputtered to life. The battle was begun.
It was a mere thirty seconds later that the mower choked on the thickness of the weeds. The idea that I would be headed home in a mere two hours vanished from my mind. I would need to cut in half swaths in order to keep the mower running and, even then, lift the front of the mower half a foot as I moved forward through the weeds.
Falling back on my Zen nature, I became one with the chore... and the heat... and the sweat... but not the recalcitrant mower. It still choked on the thick weeds every so often, requiring that I back off to a mown spot and restart the motor.
The one bright spot in this was that I did not run into any snakes, or raccoons, or badgers (or larger predators) while working my way through this veldt. No ponds or lakes nearby so gators, thankfully, were not an issue.
After 3 hours, three breaks (during which I consumed the water and one and a half of the Gatorades), and clothes soaking sweat, I was done. After yet another break, I loaded the mower into the trunk of the car (again, amazingly, without personal injury) and prepared to leave.
One stop at the mailbox out front to retrieve the junk mail and the (fully expected) Code Violation citation from the City Police. Hah! There will be no fine, no excessive charge by the city to mow the unruly yard.
Mr Average Joe beats the Powers That Be once again! And it only took three hours.
I may even survive.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago