New Castle News

June 1, 2013

Josh Drespling: Lawn mowing cuts deep into my wallet

Josh Drespling
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — I finally did it. I succumbed to the desire and plopped my cold, hard cash down on the counter.

I was thrifty and cautious in my shopping. I have spent the last few summers kicking tires and comparing prices. I checked every local retailer, online site, and even kept a keen eye on Craig's List.

I took my time, studied all the specs, but it finally came time to bite the bullet and make the move.

On Memorial Day, I cracked open my wallet and bought a brand new Troy-Bilt riding lawn mower. It was not cheap, but now I feel a little more like the typical middle-class American. Although I don’t have a white picket fence or two cats and a dog, I have spent a great deal of money on beautifying my home. Some may call it nesting, but I prefer to see it more as a Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor inspired obsession with mechanical perfection and testosterone-fueled manliness.  

Our house sits on just over an acre of land, all of which is covered with lush green grass. Grass that seems to grow faster and faster by the day. I was never able to keep up with it with my dilapidated fleet of equipment. I have two push mowers that are in ill repair — one of which I don’t ever recall running.

I also have a really old riding mower that I bought several years ago for a couple hundred dollars. It has long since passed its life span and has one wheel in the scrap heap. It has a bad solenoid, broken belt, bad tires, a clutch that slips, a leaky gas tank, bad ignition switch, a short that constantly drains the battery, and a seat that is missing all the foam.

I have spent the last decade or so skating by with hand-me-down mowers or mooching off the kindness of others. My dad had turned into the grass-mowing fairy the last couple of summers. I would come home and my grass would be miraculously mowed. He has one of those zero-turn mowers and would have to hook up his trailer and load the mower onto it. Then tow it to my house and unload the whole thing.

After mowing, he would have to repeat the entire chore to get his equipment back home. Although I am entirely grateful and humbled by his effort, it was time to get my own “real” mower.

By the time you read this, I will have undoubtedly mowed my grass several times with my brand spankin' new mower. If you drive by my house, you might just catch a glimpse of me trolling around the lawn or washing and waxing my new machine with pride.

The only real problem now is finding a new set of excuses as to why the grass is not mowed.