New Castle News

News Bloggers

June 1, 2013

Josh Drespling: Lawn mowing cuts deep into my wallet

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.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Bloggers
  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: "The Bachelorette" semi-live blog

    Here we go folks: “The Bachelorette” finale is under way and of course we’re being inundated with sweeping helicopter shots of beaches and exotic locations while Chris Harrison is telling us how dramatic this upcoming episode will be. Classic opening for “The Bachelorette,” as always.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Readers (a few anyway) respond on Alvarez

    Last week I asked readers to share their thoughts on what the Pirates should do with the struggling Pedro Alvarez and we’ll get to that in a minute. For some background, Alvarez has two years left on his deal and makes a modest salary of 4.25 million this season (modest in terms of baseball salaries as paying me 4.25 million dollars for anything would be gladly accepted). His salary will likely increase the next two seasons through arbitration. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: As you may have noticed, I'm not Lisa
    Surprise, surprise, surprise! The big cheese called me, and asked if I would mind if my blogs appeared on Monday, instead of on Tuesday. I had no problem with that.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: Time flies when you're growing up

    Where does the time go? Just a moment ago, it was Monday, and now here we sit at the opposite end of another week. Seems like a matter of seconds and this month has slipped off into oblivion. I swear I only blinked and spring had been stripped from our hands. I don't dare close my eyes for another moment’s rest or my whole life may disappear.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: Grab your sisters and your mothers, it's an ice cream 'convent'-ion
    To keep my nice figure, I like to go to Forbush's at least once a week. This is also my entertainment for the night.  We sit there for an hour or so, watching people. Last week, a group arrived that I had never seen before.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • johnnyswim.jpg Tim Kolodziej: What is your definition of The Dream?

    Johnnyswim. I know, I know. Me neither. I had no idea what that word meant until a couple of months ago, when a friend of mine on Twitter was absolutely gushing about a great concert he had just seen.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: Does "House of Cards" crumble or stand?

    The old Couch Potato has been methodically working my way through the hit Netflix series, “House of Cards,” over the past few weeks and let me just say, it’s pretty good. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: It was an uphill climb, but this driver was a real trooper

    It's always a tragedy when I have to cover a drowning for The News. I hope I never have to go to Kennedy Mills again for this purpose. It is located at the bottom of a twisty, turning hill on Frew Mill Road.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Happy_Ending.jpg Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’

    After 12 amazing years at the New Castle News, it is finally time for me to say goodbye.  I walked through the doors of this building believing that I had found the place I would live out the rest of my days, content in the chaos of deadlines and bylines, inky fingers and editorials.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: When the family’s away, this bachelor will ... work?

    It was inevitable. I knew it was coming and the situation was unavoidable. Over the course of the last few weeks I have been preparing myself for this moment and it has finally come.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

Do you talk to yourself when you're alone?

Yes, but I’m basically just thinking out loud.
No, that would be weird.
I don’t know. Next time I’m alone, I’ll ask.
     View Results