I have absolutely zero experience with power lawn mowers, and my reel mower is only about 10% effective. I was more or less okay with that percentage until my neighbor mowed my front yard two days after I mowed it.
So armed with my total lack of mechanical knowledge and a few words of advice from a friend, I marched off to the store and chose a mower in 5 minutes. Then I got it ready to go with oil, gas, and gas stabilizer. I’m pretty proud of knowing that gas stabilizer exists.
The best part of the lawn mower adventure was about one second after the worst part. I was standing over the mower in the back yard, gearing myself up to pull the cord and bring the beast to life. I was pretty sure I had done one of the start-up steps wrong and the mower would combust at any moment, which made me want to cry right there in the back yard. I decided to pull the cord instead of crying. The mower started smoothly, and there I was, doing yard work like it was just an average activity for me. I’m pretty sure I sighed loudly enough for the neighbors to hear it over the running engine.
I know that maintaining my house and postage-stamp-sized yard isn’t an amazing accomplishment. Teenage boys everywhere are using lawn mowers as I type, and not many of them are winning prizes for it. It’s just such a relief to add something new to the “I can handle that” list. I won’t be cutting patterns into the grass like they do on baseball fields any time soon, but my yard blends in with all the others again. It’s a very small, very happy miracle.