It was the riding lawnmower.
The I MUST FIX IT sort of battle previously alluded to and it is FINALLY won. The front yard is mowed into my particular horrifically whimsical pattern of swirls and circles right now as evidence that the battle is indeed over.
The riding lawnmower and I have a brief but interesting (to me, right at this moment) history. It arrived as an unexpected but EXACTLY what I wanted, wonderful gift. And then I realized it’s actually very difficult to mow straight lines and I immediately gave up. I’m the only one in the neighborhood with swirls. AND THAT”S OKAY. And THEN I had a little accident last fall and it broke my hand. Driver error. TOTALLY. As if there were any doubt.
And THEN. Well. I think I vaguely remember Mike discussing fuel stabilizer with me. And I thought he added it. But probably he was telling me to do that, because it was still unopened whenever I got around to looking at it. i got around to looking at it when the grass got all shaggy a couple of weeks ago and the lawnmower wouldn’t start.
So. I checked the oil. It needed some. And gas. And that was easy enough. But then the battery acted weak and weird and then it died. So i replaced that. Except I was in a hurry to take the old one off and sort of took the brute force approach and ripped off the metal prong thing where you hook up the black cable. And got a socket stuck on it. There was a lot of corrosion. And, fine, I used the wrong size. And prying that off is how I shoved a screwdriver through two of my fingers last week. Eventually i got it off with a lot of wire brushing, WD-40 and prayer. But the mower still didn’t work.
My dad talked me through all of it and then today I took apart everything I could think of and then sent him a picture of the mower’s ‘carcass’ and asked him to point out the carburetor, please. I did stuff to the carburetor and then it actually STARTED and that was awesome and then i dropped a screw right down the air intake thingy.
I made my 4th trip to Tractor Supply. I love that store. They don’t care if you’re wearing your falling apart nastiest hole-y jeans and you smell like WD-40. Daddy told me to get a magnetic retriever sort of tool. That’s what you need when you drop a screw down the air intake thingy, and it got it out instantly.
Then I put everything back together that i had taken apart and it took forever and then I mowed circles in the grass and I’m SO very pleased I just had to tell you.
Sometimes you just need to take on more than you probably should, past the point of injury, past the point of tears, and just keep going with only your dad helping via endless patient, humorous, helpful texts and get through it, already, even if it takes WEEKS.
I do, anyway.
He knows the sort of thing I’m likely to do wrong. I tend toward ‘brute force’ and ‘excessive use of various spray products.’ He knows the sort of mistakes I’m likely to make that could result in explosions, and he warns accordingly.
And the grass is done. The mower is running better than it did last year. And I didn’t lose any fingers or break any hands. That’s such a nice way for today to have turned out. So much better than expected.