Mower in the Mud

Chris on the mower

Chris on the mower

April 24 – Seems like I haven’t sat down at the computer to write a few things for the blog in a few days, but time goes so fast “when you’re having fun,” that I guess I just don’t remember. Dale already wrote about our trouble with the riding mower, but since the whole thing was my fault, I will give you my version. (it’s just like his, only a little more words therein).

Several days ago, after I had used the mower to mow the lawn all around the house (Dale doesn’t like me to mow with the push mower, so that one was the riding mower), I raised the level of the blade from about 3 to 8 or so to make sure I didn’t ruin the blade as I drove across the big pieces of cement and rocks in the creek bed on the way to what we call the “pond area.”

The pond where all this happened

The pond where all this happened

I planned to finish all around the pond and trail on that side of the creek. Along the first creek bank, all went well, and I zoomed up over the hill and around the bottom edge of the pond. When I saw that the overflow ditch was still pretty full of water, I thought that maybe I should stop and go back another day, but after I crossed the ditch OK, I was sure I could do the job. Moving along the path at the edge of the section, I thought I was seeing more water on the tires than should be there. When I tried to go faster, to escape the problem, it seemed I was slowing down, till finally, I wasn’t just slowing down, but the mower quit!

Oh, well, I thought, I’ll just start up again and turn away from that area. Great! The engine came back to life, and I began to try to move forward, then back, and repeated that process for much too long, as the tires were sinking deeper and deeper into the muck!

One of our many brush piles

One of our many brush piles

Finally, I got off the mower and walked some distance to a pile of branches and other stuff that we plan to burn this year, since the wood is pretty dry now. Carrying two very big branches back to the mower, I slipped one under the front wheel, and the other under the back, hoping that would help the machine to go one way or the other. Of course, I didn’t even know that I was not supposed to go forward, just backward. So up to the house I went for help. Why does a distance seem to be farther when you are in trouble and need to have some good advice and expertise to take care of things you don’t understand! Poor Dale! He always has to come to my rescue.

Up by the barn he found three pretty strong boards, not very long, but he figured they would work. Now that’s another part of the process that I didn’t know about. You’re supposed to slide the boards under the tires, but the mower is so heavy that Dale couldn’t lift it to put the boards in the right place. Instead he just put them behind the tires, and told me to get into the driver’s seat, and run the mower in reverse while he pushed with all his might on the front. Well, it seemed as if I pushed on the pedal with all my might, too. My legs are so short that I always sit forward in the seat so I am able to keep the pedal down where it should be.

Suddenly, the mower did move backward, letting Dale fall smack down to the muck where he had been standing to push. I was so afraid that he had hurt himself when he fell, right on his elbows, that I shouted, “Are you OK? Are you hurt?” Fortunately he wasn’t, and after trying several more pushes, the mower did move backwards enough that I could make a quick sharp turn on to drier ground. However, since the rest of the area around the pond was still pretty wet under the grass, I was afraid to try again, and drove directly up to the barn where the mower would rest until things dried out. Besides, it had already mowed all around the house earlier so had earned its keep! – CHRIS

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