Sam and I bought our first house a year ago, and we were ready to nest. We were excited to decorate the house in our style, entertain in our style, and even do yard work in our style.
Sam was going to have a little garden, and I was going to use Earth-friendly yard tools. This was our plot of land in the great State of Texas, and we were going to take care of it! My big idea was to get a reel mower. Reel mowers (manual, people-powered mowers) are cool for a lot reasons.
First, they don’t pollute. A typical gas-powered lawn mower pollutes as much as a modern car pollutes driving 200 miles.
Second, they don’t rip up your grass.
Third, it’s a great workout. It’s basically a row machine in your yard! It’s rowing for non-swimmers.
Fourth, there is a very low likelihood that I’ll accidentally crank the mower too hard, pull it back on my foot, and then promptly decapitate my big toe. (Real fear.)
After weeks of scouring the internet to find the best push mower, I settled on the Fiskars 18″ Stay Sharp. Look at those reviews! People love it. This is the Parks & Rec of reel mowers. This is Summer & Seth of reel mowers. This is the Black Keys of reel mowers. How excited was I about my purchase?
I also got an electric Grass Hog weedeater to go with it. I was unstoppable!
I was unstoppable for about two weeks. Around that time, one of the bolts came out of the handle. This resulted in a weird flexibility to the handle. I had to make a pop-and-lock motion anytime I wanted to turn the mower’s direction. Which was often. Our yard isn’t a rectangle.
If audio recordings existed of what I said during those dark days, there’s no way I’d be able to run for President.
Mercifully, our grass went dormant.
When mowing season came around again, I went to Lowe’s. I spent a good hour looking through the THOUSANDS of different bolt variations to find one that would replace the lost bolt. By this time, I was a home-owning pro. I bought six bolts, just to be safe.
Now, the Fiskars is a lawn care hero. Every week or so, we head out at dawn, I put on my boots and ipod (no mower = podcasts), and we get after it. Then, I rest on the couch and my laurels, and I play some Xbox.
The moral of the story is this: Reel mowers are a hassle, but they’re also pretty fun. If you chose to, you could even sneak out in the middle of the night and silently mow stripes in your neighbor’s yard. Or shapes! Or initials!