Reel

At the beginning of last week I was still huddling indoors to escape the cold, cruel north wind. Last night I went out on my back porch at 7 p.m. and saw that the thermometer read 90° F. That sounded a little bit cooler than in my house, actually, so I decided to sit outside by my pond and do a crossword puzzle. As soon as I sat down I was bombarded by mosquitoes. As I ran to the back door I started sneezing. Cold wind, searing heat, mosquitoes and pollen, all in one week. Some April.

Today it is supposed to be even hotter, so I walked the dog early and then thought I should be a responsible citizen and mow the collection of weeds I call the front lawn. In the middle of my chore I heard a man yelling, “I don’t believe it!” He was not a neighbor, but apparently just a passerby who was amazed by my lawn mower, an old-fashioned reel mower (no motor.)

The only time in my life I ever had a mower with a motor it was old and hard to get started and I spent more time trying to get it work than actual mowing. My yard is small and I can’t think of any reason why I should use gasoline and spew exhaust and make a lot of noise when I can use a reel mower and get the job done with no fuss. It doesn’t take as much room to store, either. And it’s good exercise!

The man told me his daughter uses a reel mower and he had previously thought she was the only person left on earth who did. That’s why he was so flabbergasted. “Tell her all about me!” I called after him as he walked off down the street. “Tell her she’s not alone!”

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