(I actually said, “Oh, Skip!” but writing it with stars instead of letters is a more effective opening line.)
There I was.
Sitting in the middle of a sporadically mowed lawn, staring at my recently shattered living room window, which was now situated directly above a once, flourishing, flower bed…wondering where it all went wrong.
Did I mention the bruised ribs?
My day started off like any other…with a tingling numbness in my left arm. Every morning, for as long as I can remember, the first few minutes after waking are crucial for determining the day’s outlook. If the tingling was because my arm is asleep after being crushed under a pillow all night…the day looks great. However, if the sensation was because I’m experiencing a heart attack…well, the day will probably take a bad turn.
I’m riding a good streak, at the moment.
So, after my brief self diagnosis came back positive, I slammed my arm a few times against the wall to get the blood flowing and leapt out of bed with all the excitement of a child on Christmas.
I flung open the blinds, gathered the birds around me, as I sang one of my favourite Disney songs, and told the young boy passing on the street to go buy the prize turkey in the window. Short of North Korea deciding now was the time to end it all for everyone…what could go wrong?
Did I mention the lacerated neck?
Since making the shift from lifelong city dweller to country villager I have learned some strange and wonderful things about our world.
1) If you breathe deeply, air isn’t supposed to burn your throat…
2) Stars are not a government conspiracy, like the moon landing. I see them every night. And,
3) If everything shuts down at , you don’t die.
While the adjustment to clean air, dark night skies & a slower pace has been, surprisingly easy…there has been one hurdle. At times, it seems like my neighbours mow their grass every 4 hours. Apparently, to the village people, a well-groomed lawn is next to Godliness (and the YMCA).
Having not participated, even once, in this daily ritual I began sensing a community shunning just around the corner. In fact I could physically feel the disapproving stares…stares which had become strong enough to pierce the thick forest growing on my lawn.
Today was the day! I had an empty calendar, the weather was great & once again, my arm had foretold good things ahead.
Did I mention the swollen black eye?
I pulled the lawnmower out of our landlord’s shed.
It was very different than the one I had last used which made me quickly realize…I hadn’t mowed a lawn in almost 30 years.
You see, when I was about ten I asked my father if I could help cut the grass. I tried. It was boring. Ever since, my dad has done the landscaping and then, when I got married, I moved into a townhouse with a concrete back yard.
Therefore, I’ve never really touched a lawnmower…until that day.
How do you start it?
Thank goodness for Google. Search: “How to start a lawnmower?”
Fill the gas tank. Done.
Push the bubble no more than 7 times…but no less than 4 times. Done.
Pull the cord. Nothing.
Pull it again. Nothing.
Lean in and pull it Harder!!
I’d never felt my own knuckles slamming into my eye socket before…but the mower had started.
I thought my parallel line cutting plan was doing pretty good until I looked back and saw monstrous strips of grass in between each of my routes. Although my lot was beginning to look like a corn field, the bigger problem was how to cut around the tree. With one hand I held a branch back while the other hand mowed…until the mower got jammed on a root. Then I needed two hands.
That branch whipped back faster than a ninja trying to behead an enemy. It was a bloody mess…but my head – with one eye slowly shutting - was mostly still attached.
Not a quitter, despite having no depth perception & feeling dizzy, I continued on. With the slow blood loss beginning to affect my ability to steer I went straight…into the garden. Now, although the petunias didn’t stand a chance against those whirling blades the large decorative fountain was more than a match.
Colliding with that marble garden accessory caused such a jolt my swollen eye opened long enough to see the carnage. With a mower handle now deeply lodged in my ribs and a jugular emptying faster than a camp site visited by a hungry bear I was left with no choice but…to pass out.
How long my face was buried in a pile of blood soaked mulched petunias, I do not know. What I do know (now) is that a lawn mower isn’t heavy enough to use as leverage when trying to get off the ground.
The mower flipped, dropping me to my butt and…flinging a nice size stone through my living room window.
…a tingling numbness in my left arm.
A little late for an omen, don’t you think?
It’s been a few months now since I took my very first ambulance ride. I’ve recovered fully, my garden is prettier than ever, the window has been replaced and the grass…is chest deep!
As I stand in the middle of my forsaken lawn, waving at my glaring neighbour, I’m finally ready, after hours of therapy, to get back on that horse…after I find it.
I know it’s out here somewhere.
I am confident today is the day I will conquer this lawn! I have an empty calendar, the weather is great & once again, my arm has foretold good things ahead…
Have a good one,Timmy