Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ode to a Lawnmower

I can't believe it happened again. I took our lawnmower out of "the Shed" (that's what I call the storage area under "the Addition"), wheeled it out to the front yard, filled it with gas (how old was that gas in the gas can? I don't remember buying it...) pulled the cord, and it started right up. I couldn't believe it! Sure, it only ran for about two seconds before it died, but that's beside the point. It actually ran...What are the odds?!?!

I ask that question because our beloved no-name lawnmower is approximately 40, maybe more like 75, years old. And in the nine years that I've owned it since I got it as a hand-me-down from the father of a friend of ours, I have never: drained or used up the gas at the end of the mowing season like you are supposed to; changed the oil, although I have added to it once or twice; or gotten it tuned up by someone who actually knows what they are doing. I have changed the spark plug once, and I have "cleaned out" the carburetor several times by scraping all the dirt and gunk off it with the end of a screwdriver, and I have had to reattach all of the wheels at one time or another after the bolts holding them on rattled their way off somewhere in our lawn. I've even redone the pull cord a couple of times and sharpened the blade when it became obvious that it would be impossible to find one that fit my mower at any of our local stores. But other than that, I don't really do any of the preventive maintenance a well-intentioned lawnmower owner is supposed to do. Yet the crazy thing keeps working. It's pretty much a miracle!

This year, after it ran for the first two seconds and then died, I did have to do a little maintenance on it. I filled up the oil, I cleaned the carburetor again, I sprayed some starter fluid in it, and I noticed the little metal thing that hooks up to the spark plug wasn't hooked up very well. Hooking that thing up correctly is probably what did it, because that crazy lawnmower roared to life the next time I pulled the cord. Maybe we'll get through another summer with it. Will wonders, and miracles, never cease?

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