Monday, August 29, 2011

Breakdowns - part two

In an earlier post, I mentioned that we have had several things break down this summer. First the computer, then the dryer, the washer, the vacuum, and finally the lawnmower. I was hoping the breakdowns had stopped there, but that was a vain hope.

One of our neighbors offered to look our lawnmower over. If it was a simple problem, he could fix it, no worries. While he was looking over the machine, another neighbor, Dena, offered to let me borrow her mower. I was so grateful I nearly cried - our lawn had become a jungle at this point and something needed to be done.

The front lawn was mowed, and most of the backyard as well. The mower was turned off so the picnic table could be moved, and then my teenager Jon went to mow the patch of grass that had been under the table. He gave the starter string a sharp tug.


"Um, Mom? I think I just broke Dena's lawn mower".

I stared at the machine, which had been purring happily a few minutes before. The starter cord had completely disconnected from the engine, and no amount of pulling was going to start it. I dreaded telling Dena that we had broken her mower as well as our own.

I half expected the lawnmower to pull this neat trick next.

Later that evening, the neighbor's wife brought our lawn mower back while I was talking to Dena. "My husband said he couldn't fix it," she said apologetically. "The engine is completely seized up." I thanked her for making the effort anyway, and remarked that I was just having bad luck with machines, while pointing at Dena's mower. She offered to take Dena's machine back with her to see if her husband could fix the starter, and Dena agreed. I said if any parts were needed, we would pay for them, as the machine broke while we were using it. I privately decided that each household is getting a fresh-baked loaf of cinnamon bread for their generosity.

So today I decided to pull out the weed whacker and try to trim the small bit of yard that hadn't been mowed, and also to trim the verge around the driveway and carport. The weed whacker worked for about sixty seconds, then the plastic string on the bottom flew off into the thick grass and vanished.  Ta da, a totally useless weed whacker! I was starting to feel like some sort of circus freak

("Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and see the amazing Machine Killer! She may look like an innocent housewife, but watch what happens when she touches that lawn mower - BAM! It's irreparable!")

I was determined to get SOMETHING done outside today, so I decided to transplant my tomato plants into bigger containers. And of course, just as I got the first pot filled...CRACK. The wooden handle of my shovel split, right above the metal part. I threw down the shovel in disgust and stomped back towards the house.

...only to discover that the air conditioner had stopped working.

I really need to join a circus. I belong in the freak tent.

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