Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Sisyphus, Riding Lawn Mowers, and George Carlin
Lest you think my new life is all sweetness and light, I suppose I should come clean with my confession.
Last Friday, I cried. Not that that's highly unusual. I can be a bit of a crybaby sometimes. It was the circumstances.
For the life of me, I could not remember how to start the riding lawn mower. I bought it from the previous owner, with her instructions as well as a manual. I don't do well with manuals and her instructions had disappeared into the ether. I hadn't planned on crying. It just sort of happened. The rain had made mowing difficult for the week or so before we closed on the sale and with all she had to do to get ready to return to Iowa the yard and gardens had taken a back seat, shall we say. The lawn I had seen previously seemed like a distant memory. I knew it was going to be fine, eventually, and as soon as the weather cleared at all, I would get right to it. Right after I started the riding mower.
I wasn't sure how I was going to tackle this problem, as admitting I didn't have a complete handle on everything was not yet an option. My immediate solution was to head to town to buy a push mower - the kind that has a motor, but you still gotta push it - knowing I would need one for touch-ups anyway, once I got the riding mower started. I would see what I could do by hand. I wanted the exercise and knew it would be good for me. Yada, yada.
I was delusional.
Mowing this acreage by hand would be tantamount to Sisyphus pushing that rock up the mountain. Repeatedly. Forever. Or at least until it snows.
I needed a bit of advice on mower-buying and so called Ex #2, knowing he had recently bought one for our son, Coleman. Did I have ulterior motives? Probably. It was time to admit I didn't quite have a handle on everything. He made his recommendations and then I went on to tell him of my troubles with starting the rider. Suddenly, yes, this is one place I legitimately get to use that word, I was crying. One could even say I was sobbing. I realized I had let myself get overwhelmed by all I had to do to get settled in my new home, let alone get the yard and gardens back to their previous state. I knew I had plenty of time to do it, but that didn't matter. I had hit the wall and did not know it until that moment.
He told me to stop crying. Nicely. Kind of. And then we laughed. And then he gave me advice on the mower starting problem. By that evening, I had a brand new Poulan push mower, I'd gotten the rider going and had half the yard done. Now, I have the entire yard done and looking pretty park-like even. Love that riding mower.
I have much weeding still to do in the garden, but am taking it slow, day by day, handful of weed by handful of weed. No, not the recreational kind. The next-year-I'm-going-to-lay-down-a-lot-of-mulch kind.
A friend called while I was in the garden. I told her about my crying jag and then shared with her that my hands were covered in dirt, I was sweating up a storm, I hoped my boys would be over soon so I could pawn some radishes off on them, it was starting to rain and my nose was running. We laughed. We talked. We exchanged tales of losing sleep over our recent projects. Then, back to the tasks at hand.
I will tame this patch of ground, if it takes me all summer...
"Weather forecast for tonight: Dark." George Carlin.