I did something yesterday that I hadn’t done in almost 20 years. I mowed a lawn (my lawn) using my Dad’s old John Deere 214 garden tractor. I got the tractor from my brother Keith, who is moving (with his lovely missus-to-be) to a fabulous house in Bettendorf. Thanks, Keith and Cindy! (BTW, Mom’s description of the house has made me very eager to see it!!!)
Anyway. Dad bought this tractor in the mid 1980’s (I’m guessing 1985) from a dealer in Minnesota that he was friends with. Prior to that, he’d had a little red Toro tractor that I mowed with. I’m not sure what happened to the Toro. Maybe Dad gave it to someone who likes racing. (insert wink here) But the Deere was bigger, more powerful, and cut a wider swath than the Toro did, so mowing went faster. The only problem was, we had a fairly steep ditch, and lots of trees, so whenever I mowed I had to get the pushmower out and mow the ditch and around the trees and grapevines because you couldn’t do those areas with the tractor. Not that I didn’t try: I got smacked in the head by locust and flowering crab tree branches more times than I can count. But at least I didn’t have to push-mow the whole yard, which happened to be around 3.5 acres in area. (Four acres if you count the orchard.)
My yard is much smaller: it’s only 1/3 of an acre. But it takes the better part of a morning (or afternoon) to push-mow it, whereas it only took me an hour or so to mow with the tractor. (However, I still had to push-mow the ditch and around the trees.) It was fun to be back on the tractor. Carl looked it over, first, to make sure it was in good running condition. (He’s such a perfectionist.) He added a quart of oil and greased some spots, but everything else was fine. We filled it up with gas, and off I went. Just like in the old days, like twenty years ago.
Now, if only I was thinner and had no grey hair, like twenty years ago………