Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Mrs., The Mower, and Me

Christine: 1990-2005

Christine died. I'll pause while you mourn.

It was a quiet death, on the front lawn. Her pull-start rope came apart in my hands. This is just what The Mrs. was waiting for. She hated Christine. I understand. Christine was always my mower. Christine was the bright cherry-red love of my life since I saw her at Wal-Mart back in 1951.

Now she's gone.

Not that she didn't give clues. She would start at the first pull, and then abruptly the engine would stop after I'd mowed twenty feet of lawn. Then, after 671 more pulls, she would start again, and usually operate reliably. Sometimes though, she would start and just putter along in a rough idle for minutes at a time until she could finally muster up enough rpm's to go forward and mow the lawn. She was telling me it was time for her to go.

Alaska and our 7042 acre lawn was too much for her.

That's fine.

Because The Mrs. was working on me, getting me ready for the new mower.

It was a soft sell at first. "Dammit, John, I'm tired of you spending six hours to mow the lawn. We need a new mower!!!"

Then, it got stronger. "John, I am so f*****g tired of not being able to start the mower!!!! This isn't reasonable!!!"

Then, it was irresistible. "John. New. Mower. Now."

Fortunately, Christine gave in the ghost about the time that The Mrs. would actually feel like hitting me whenever she thought about the mower.

Now, we have purchased the fine piece of running machinery shown below. I mowed the backyard (about 300 acres) in about 8.89383 seconds (that's 54.39 metric years). It has a fifth gear, and if you use it, you're mowing at about 70 miles per hour. It corners like it's on rails.

A Brief History of John Deere as it Applies to Me:
John Deere was born about 1804 in Vermont. He was a blacksmith who built a very cool steel plow. Some time later, they painted everything green. And then at some later point, they started building lawn mowers.

This one rocks. (Note to John Deere representatives - I will accept money for endorsements.)

The Mrs. uses it like a surgical instrument. I, bewildered in a haze of beer, use it like a tank. Either approach works fine, since it cuts the lawn either way. As is my usual position on these matters, I am again admitting that I was wrong. We held on to Christine far too long for the size of lawn we have now.

What really won the day for The Mrs. was that The Green Beast comes equipped for attachments. Like a 42" snow blower.

I had dreaded the idea of getting a plow for our driveway to hook up to our pickup, primarily because I didn't think it would work especially well. A snowblower, however, will (at least in my "A Christmas Story"-type fantasy) whisk the snow effortlessly up and away from the road.

I'll let you know how it works. I'll try not to put my eye out.

A viewing will be held for Christine at the Fairbanks-North Star Waste Transfer Station (Badger Road) on Saturday, July 30th whenever I haul her out there.


Blogger Woofwoof said...

Wow, that Deere is a thing of beauty. I am drooling just looking at it. I want one so badly even though my California-style lawn is about the size of two postage stamps.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May Christine rest in peace. She served you well. What name is the deer getting?

2:12 PM  
Blogger Garry Nixon said...

I'm with woofwoof and anonymous here. It's a significant life event, John. Every time folk admire your highly developed right upper arm muscles, you'll wipe a tear from your eye and recall Christine's pull-start.

As for this new beast. Wow!

2:58 PM  
Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

Now that you've let on you have a snow blower capable of handling not only your driveway, but potentially several others, you have opened the door the constant requests to borrow it. If you don't loan your equipment (I got the impression that Christine was a one-man mower), many of your neighbors will be asking you over for hot cocoa and cookies without telling you that you'd have to plow the driveway to get to the goodies. You can expect our invitation the day before Thanksgiving.

1:22 PM  
Blogger the Witch said...

Did you also win a leggy lamp?

3:21 PM  
Blogger John said...

Yeah. Used it for the second time last night. Awesome.

Hey, read your poetry! Anyway, no idea yet on new name. It's green, and The Boy and I can ride on it. Shrek?

I still have my chainsaw. It can be a rickity starter, too. But, you're right, not at all the same . . . (tear)

Dame Koldfoot,
Cocoa, cookies? Nope. Beer. Or iced tea. :) Regardless, it can be arranged.

No, just a damn Ovaltine commercial on my Little Orphan Annie decoder. *sigh*

10:38 AM  

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