Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lisa's Musings (on lawn tractors) and Every Day Life

I set a record today.

March 31 marks the earliest date I've ridden the lawn tractor around the property since I moved back to Michigan.

I worked most of the day, then my Internet hiccuped around 4:15 and I couldn't get it back up right away.

I took this as sign.

Nature (and all the leaves covering the quickly greening grass) were calling.

Usually, I ride "Old Faithful" for the first mow of the season. It's tradition.

Despite her missing nose and other less-than-attractive attributes, she's my favorite.

You see, Old Faithful is the first lawn tractor I ever bought and learned how to operate.

So, I guess it's like a guy and his first car; she has a lot of sentimental value for me.

However, she's had many appointments with the very nice Mobile Mower Repair guy.

Thus the reason for her loss of nose and disconnected mulching feature. She only has a couple of the five gears she's supposed to have and sometimes they slip.

You have to hold her in reverse, but at least she'll mow in that gear.

And yeah, her brakes are suspect, too, but I work around all that.

Sometimes, however, these quirky behaviors turn into liabilities and she needs to go under the wrench.

This is why I bought a second one -- for when she's out of commission.

Because for some reason, my grass doesn't seem to care to stop growing if Old Faithful is sick and the nice fix-it man can't get here right away to make her all better.

This, I learned the hard way, a couple years after I bought this place and I had to wait two weeks during the height of growing season for her to be fixed.

So I bought "The Other One," as a back-up. It has a wider deck and more bells and whistles. It was supposed to become the primary mower.

But look at it -- it's got a mean-looking face, and this should have been my first clue.

Because from the moment it was delivered it, I hated the darn thing.

And the mower feels the same way about me.

The first time I tried to fire it up, it didn't work.

Maybe it felt like "The Other Mower" or something.

Even though all my friends, the ones who take pity on me and help me mow this property sometimes, love "The Other Mower."

The Mobile Mower guy loves it too, because he's been here more times than I can count to fix it.

But, at certain times, I'm forced to ride it around. Like when I need to mulch leaves.

In fact, one year I started a leaf fire trying to move the leaves around with Old Faithful, and that was kinda scary.

So, I had to take out "The Other Mower," today, but I told "Old Faithful" her day would come soon.

And surprise of surprises, it started. It mulched. And I tootled around areas I didn't need to actually mow just to be outside a little longer.

Riding the lawn tractors is my guilt-free tanning time. It's my chill and relax out in Mother Nature time. It's my get away from the laptop time.

It's my time. I don't bring a cell phone with me. I just become one with nature. Or something.

And today was all that.

I saw wildflowers growing, tips of tulip and daffodil leaves, I spied more crocus blooming, a found a couple of HUGE mushrooms growing out of a trees in the woods in the back of my property.

No rhubarb or asparagus in the garden yet, but spring certainly seems to have arrived.

It felt good to be outdoors and even the wind cooperated, blowing the leaves away from my face and not into my eyes.

I surveyed my kingdom, and it was good.

Then I returned to the garage, and saw Old Faithful sitting there, I felt really, guilty.

She'd missed the first mow of the season.

But it wasn't a full property mow -- just a spotty one where the leaves were thick -- so perhaps she won't hold it against me.

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