The Return of the Karmic Lawn Mower

The Straight Story About five years ago, Silvia and Alex Torres gave me their lawn mower because they didn’t need it in their move back to Tampico.

It was a good thing, too, because the lawn mower I had was stolen out of my garage that I never kept locked.

It was a good thing too, because it wasn’t that great of a lawn mower. One wheel always fell off when I made a third loop of the back yard.

Which was a good thing, because the person who stole it probably rolled it away on foot, to the pawn shop on Westport Road. And the wheel probably fell off between my garage and the pawn shop. Which may or may not have happened but makes a funny visual. It’s fun to mess with crackheads.

So, then I had a free lawnmower, which is good because I didn’t have very much money at the time.

And, of course, neither did Cathy my next-door neighbor. So we locked it in her shed and we shared the lawnmower. I mowed when it was really hot, which was most of the summer. Anyway, that was good because then she felt guilty and mowed most of the fall and when I forgot to get around to it or got bored with it the romance of mowing.

Generation Jeannie
Then Jeannie needed a lawn mower, and I didn’t need one in London and Cathy didn’t need one in Maryland, so the lawnmower got passed to Jeannie. “OK, Jeannie,” I said, “This is the karmic lawnmower. When you are done with it, you can’t sell it. You have to pass it on.” Sure, she said. Of course, and happily pushed it home.

Then Jeannie moved from her house-apartment to her house-house with Revernd D. and the lawn mower moved again– from fancy digs first in Overland Park to Midtown to the Historic Northeast. It’s getting around, even if it’s stuck cutting postage stamp lawns.

Meanwhile, in another suburbia…
So we are just back from London and we have no pitchfork. Or spade. Or hedge trimmer, paint supplies or anything remotely related to keeping a home well groomed. We are scrounging and buying, spending an entire Saturday in the driveway pulling apart old pallettes from a neighbors DIY project to build a composter.

Which is good, because we’re having fun figuring it out, and it’s cheaper than buying all this wood new.

Which brings me to the lawnmower… almost.

A neighbor wanders over. I’m Bill. Introductions.

“You have use for some good boards?” Bill asks. I spy behind him. There’s a FOR SALE sign in his yard and he’s not a spring chicken. “I’m moving into the condo you know…”

Which is good because old guys clearing house, moving to condos, suddenly have no use for certain things. LOTS of certain things.

It took a week and at least nine trips back and forth in our Fit (a GREAT hauling vehicle, I might add), but good old Bill and Karma came through.

Our Karmic Acquisitions

Two dropleaf tables (one cherry, one oak)
Two oak chairs
Five side tables
A 19″ television and VCR
A work table for the basement
Two coolers (one styrofoam, one plastic and full-sized)
A box of hand garden tools
A box of paint tools (including rollers, scrapers, paint pans and brushes of various sizes)
Three lamps
A pitchfork, a spade fork, a hoe
Wood, lots of lovely straight Vermont wood pieces in varying lengths and sizes
Three bookcases
A footstool (needs to be recovered)
A bulletin board
A camp stove and 7 propane tanks
A cast iron pot for outdoor cooking
A Gas Can (with Gas in it)

And, of course, a 21″ Craftsman Mulching Lawnmower.

Which is good, because the push mower we have does not want to be fixed, no matter how many attempts Colin has made at replacing the spring.

And even though I occcasionally forget and leave the shed unlocked, I don’t think there are any thoughtful crackheads in this part of suburbia who will be coming along to take it away.

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 

  1 comment for “The Return of the Karmic Lawn Mower

  1. September 28, 2007 at 11:41 am

    The Reverend and I still have the lawnmower and are still making good use of it. Although, he did run over a railroad spike in the yard, which bent one of the blades and made the lawnmower make horrible grinding sounds. The remedy, of course, was running back over the spike. By the way, having a railrad spike in the yard isn’t weird; they’re used for surveying purposes (or were, back in ye olden days).

    I always think of Colin when I’m priming the mower because I’m pretty sure he had a wise Canadian saying regarding why one needs to do so (other than that the mower just plain won’t work).

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