Oh, it's been a long haul for me and my Sears gas-driven lawnmower. Bought used in 1985 and serviced only once, it's not only served my needs but those of several of my neighbors. Yes, here in Crunchy Takoma we share mowers and power washers and spreaders and mulch deliveries and lots more stuff I don't know about in the child care department.
But back to what's really important, the mower. Our relationship began to crumble last spring after I replaced the railroad-tie steps leading to my back lawn with huge but rough boulders. They're gorgeous and oh, so naturalistic, but I had to carry the damn mower as I was going up and down, so I began to get a bad attitude toward mowing. Like whining about having to do it. And I'd always loved that clean new look you get from this simple act, which takes me only 30 minutes for the front and back lawns combined, thanks to gradual turf reduction over the years.
So recently I let my fingers do the walking and ordered this little guy, a 13-inch electric mower made in China under the terribly unsexy brand name of Yard Machines, for $120 delivered to my door. I know cords are supposed to be a pain but I was willing to give it a try for my small lawns.
THE RESULTS Wherein I discovered what a different experience mowing electrically really is, different in good ways. Working with such a lightweight machine is a pleasure, and most of all, there's the quiet. Now, I've never been bothered by the sound of a gas mower myself but it's always been frustrating, in the hot, steamy days of high summer, to have to wait till 9 a.m. to do my mowing, when the air is cool and I'm ready to go at 5:30. With this guy being so quiet, I can mow whenever I want to.
And then there's the nice result of reducing the pollution I cause while I'm here on Earth. I read recently that thanks to legislative inaction in this area, gas mowers produce 90 times the pollutants per gallon of gas as a 2006 car, which is much worse than I imagined back in my bad-old pollutin' days.