Storytime: The blow upColumbia Daily Tribune, Mo. — Lorry Myers Columbia Daily Tribune, Mo.
Growing up, I shared lawn-mowing duties with my brothers.
We didn’t have a riding mower; instead, it was an old, red push mower my father managed to keep alive. I couldn’t start the thing, could barely push it and the noise was too much. I hated mowing.
I found nothing enjoyable about it at all. The grass made me itch, the mower was a beast and I simply didn’t want to do it.
Still, I mowed.
After I married, my husband put me on an old riding mower that didn’t have reverse. With no riding mower skills, I did the best I could that day. When I was done, Randy looked around the yard and then looked at me.
“You are never mowing again,” my new husband said, with a grave look on his face.
Hmm, I thought, I can live with that.
Along with the mowing ban, my husband adopted a power tool policy. The policy basically states that I cannot start one, or hold one or use one without asking, and, if I ask, the answer is always “No.”
Most of the blowers and edgers and trimmers we owned were heavy and cumbersome, and required some kind of secret formula of gas and oil. That, or the power tool would have a long cord, and Randy believed I would surely cut it the first time I used it.
I let him believe what he wanted.
So I have been pretty content to sit on the porch all these years and watch the yard work happen. Randy is good about keeping his equipment running, so most of what he had was old and heavy and exhausting to start.
At least that is what it looked like to me.
Then one day, the mower quit mowing and the blower quit blowing and Randy brought home new ones. The new mower is an easy start with a cushy seat and the new blower is lightweight and super powerful.
“Do you want to try it?” Randy asked, the red shiny blower making him forget all about his power tool policy.
Before I could answer, Randy started the blower and showed me how it worked. As I watched, I could tell he was already regretting this. Finally, with brief instructions to blow the leaves, acorns and weird porcupine balls off the driveway, Randy reluctantly handed it over.
How hard could it be?
It was fun, at first, but I hadn’t expected the blower to rattle my teeth and send weird vibrations up my arm. Before long, the blower grew heavy, my arms felt like noodles and I had sweat on my upper lip. I looked around the yard and there I saw my future. A future filled with mowing and mulching and blowing and trimming.
What had I done?
I was lost in that line of thought when Randy came from behind and startled me. Of course, I jumped and, when I did, the blower jumped too. Up through the trees, back through the pile I had created, that blower wreaked some havoc. Twigs were falling and leaves were blowing in directions they were not meant to go. My arms were tired and, for a few seconds, I couldn’t get the blower under control. A few seconds was all it took.
When my husband finally turned off the blower, his glasses were crooked and his hair was full of leaves and twigs and bugs. His shirt was sprayed with porcupine balls and they looked like they were stuck there pretty good. Randy looked at me and I could see pieces of mulch embedded in his beard.
“What was that?” he asked me.
Only not quite in those words.
After that, I am back on the porch because the power tool ban has been reinstated. And it looks like I won’t be riding that new mower anytime soon.
I can live with that.
You can reach Lorry at Lorrysstorys@gmail.com.
This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: Storytime: The blow up
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