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Lesson Transcript

Lawn Maintenance
"We're going to buy a new lawn mower."
The statement made me stop everything I was doing.
"We're what?"
"You heard me," my husband said. "We're buying a lawn mower. New."
This may not seem earth-shattering to you, but in the ten years I have known my husband, we have never even been near a new lawn mower. Instead, we have used one of a virtual fleet of mowers owned by him and his father. These are in various states of disrepair. Don't get me wrong; they take care of their lawn mowers. However, none of the machines were new when they got them, and their previous owners' maintenance habits were questionable at best.
The first experience I had with the lawn fleet was a gas-powered push mower that my husband had picked up at a repair shop. He spent an entire weekend taking it apart, cleaning every piece with gasoline, putting it back together, and painstakingly painting the deck bright yellow. When it started up the very first time he pulled the cord, I thought the sun was breaking through the clouds his smile was so bright.
Mr. Rusty is the family's name for one of our aging riding mowers. We live out in the country, and our yard is about two acres large. A riding mower is a necessity. Mr. Rusty looks like his name. He (not "it," of course) used to be red and silver, but a previous owner left him out in the rain. After being treated to a thorough cleaning, he runs fairly well.
I think that, after fiddling with the lawn mowers every spring for twenty years, my husband simply got tired of them breaking down. He has more to do on the weekends now that we have our daughter. Perhaps he just got tired of hearing the sputter of a dying engine. Whatever the reason, our brand new lawnmower works every time, and it spends its nights in our shed.