Cuttin’ Up

Usually, I try to take a photo of things I find pretty, interesting, odd, or I take a normal object and try to show it in a (hopefully) different way. This photo, however, is none of that. This is strictly a photo in honor of a piece of machinery.

I bought this lawnmower from Sears over 13 years ago. Not once has it ever failed to start within two pulls. Even when I first moved to Atlanta and it sat in storage for over a year, the next time I pulled on it… first pull, it started up.

Well, I’ve been having someone else cut my yard for four years now. In that time, this lawnmower has been under my deck, never used, and covered only by the floor above it. Yes, I violated a cardinal rule of my dad’s (Take care of your tools, and they’ll take care of you.), but honestly, I didn’t really expect I’d ever have to cut my own grass again. I have a great yard guy and figured that I’d use him as long as I live here and can afford the service.

This afternoon, I’m sitting on the back porch looking at how the grass has jumped up so high after just a week from the last cutting. Jane, my roommate, was sitting there with me, and I said, “I’m gonna see if the lawnmower will start.” (I’m not sure she even knew I had a lawnmower.) We both laughed as neither of us expected it to work.

I pulled it out from its dusty, red-dirt-covered hiding place. I checked the gas tank and it was empty except for what looked like something glistening on the bottom. I reached for the equally dirty gas can that had about two cups of four-year-old gas in it and poured some in.

Next, I took the brown air filter off and knocked the debris from it, blew on it, and reattached it. I then pushed the primer bubble. It went all the way in and barely came back out. I pushed again five or six times.

Then, the moment of truth. I pulled on the starter line. Nothing. I pulled again, and that sucker started up strong and loud like it had just been used last week!! I couldn’t believe it! And neither could Jane!

I let go of the safety handle that should have stopped it, but it wouldn’t stop. So I pulled the spark plug cap off and put more gas in. Put the spark cap back on and cut the whole back yard without one shut off! Had to pull the spark cap back off to stop it, but hey, that’s not too bad, considering.

I hosed it off just enough to make it feel dignified again and decided that tomorrow, I will stop by Sears and get a new air filter, some oil, and see if they do repair to fix the stopping mechanism. I’ll also give it the cleaning it deserves. :)

Long story, I know, but I just love it when something exceeds my wildest expectations! Craftsman, you have a loyal customer in me. :)

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