A Mundane Injury

I think I really hurt my back. I must have pulled a muscle while fighting with the lawn mower, an old (really old) Snapper that’s seen better days. We have a pretty large area to mow around our house. It takes at least two people working most of an entire day to finish the mowing and weed-eating. KR usually spends one of his two days off tackling this chore. He didn’t manage to get the entire field mowed this time, so I thought I would try to help out by finishing it up.

Little did I know how difficult that lawn mower is to use. Yesterday, my neighbor and I tried our best to get that thing to cut grass; but we failed miserably to work out all of the steps required to do so. We managed to get it running after calling her husband, who told us to “turn the gas on” by flipping a switch on the line. Even the gas cans were giving us issues because they both have child safety locks on them that are apparently woman-proof, too. We ended up making a funnel out of a water bottle and taking the funnel from the gas cans off completely just to fill up the mower and weed-eater!

Still, we had no idea how to actually get the lawn mower to “cut the grass.” We finally gave up on the lawn mower and switched to the weed-eater to trim up around the trailers. Seriously, why does a weed-eater need 8 complicated steps to make it work? My neighbor used it for a bit, but she agreed with me that it’s too loud and jars the devil out of you. KR bought that weed-eater specifically for me to use. I prefer to cut the old-fashioned way with shears. The noise is too much. The vibration is too much. Hell, I would rather use a pair of scissors and spend an entire day weeding than deal with the noise and vibration!

After KR got home from work last night, he told me how to get the lawn mower to cut the grass. The steps are something like this: sit down, turn the key “on,” flip the gas switch “on” — parallel with the hose, push in the clutch/brake, push the button to start the lawn mower, adjust the throttle, use the lever to lower the blade while pushing the blade pedal down to engage the blade (apparently, this is the safety mechanism that my neighbor and I couldn’t figure out), and finally, put the mower in gear and hold on for dear life because the dang thing jumps like bucking bronco when it takes off!

I tried again today, following all of the different steps KR went over with me. I wish I hadn’t. I managed to mow 3 or 4 feet and then got stuck. I kept having to rock the mower back and forth to get it move again. After the lawn mower “got stuck” several more times, frustration kicked in again. I cussed that cursed machine and left it sitting out in the field! At some point during those attempts to rock and push the mower back into motion, I pulled a muscle in my back. It feels like a knife stabbing me in the back, right below my left shoulder-blade.

After the mower cooled off, I went back out to #1 — make sure I switched the gas back off and #2 — cover it with a tarp in case it rains because it will sit there until KR or my neighbor’s husband has the chance to deal with it. Lawn mowers (and weed-eaters) should not be that difficult to use. The more steps required, the greater chance I will lose my patience and give up out of frustration. I’ll be the first to admit that I am weak both physically and emotionally. I’m just not so sure those weaknesses can be “fixed.”

I added a banner to my blog today. I was going for a minimalist expression of an “echo” to match up with the title of my blog. Yay? Nay? Feedback welcomed.

Now, I think I’ll pull out the heating pad and tend to my painful back!



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