Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Miracle Machine

Sixteen years ago this spring I bought my first lawn mower.  I don't remember a lot about the transaction itself, I just remember that my dad told me to get a mower with a Briggs and Stratton engine.  I did that and started mowing.  The mower came with me from Nebraska to New Jersey, cheerfully mowing row after row of grass.  We are close companions, this mower and I, having logged some serious miles together.

I fill it with gas and, on occasion, I've added oil.  I once had the blade sharpened.  Other than that, the mower doesn't get a lot of TLC.  For the last few years, each spring I roll the mower out of the garage and assume that this year it won't start.  I've looked at replacements, of course, but I don't want to replace a functioning mower.  And so I cross my fingers and pull the cord.  And every spring, for sixteen years, the mower starts.  Last year, it took nearly 20 pulls and I was starting to despair.  This year, it started on pull 7.  No one was more surprised than me.  It isn't pretty, my mower.  The rust has started to spread and the paint is dulled and chipping.  But on Saturday it fired up for another season of cutting the grass and who I am to deny it the pleasure?
I'm thinking about adding some oil this year but I'd hate to mess with a good thing, you know?

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