Columnist

Laura Zoeller is a farm wife and mother who has been blessed with a wonderful – and funny - life.

I used to love to mow my lawn. I even enjoyed using a push mower instead of riding the lawn tractor sometimes, just for the exercise. I don’t know if it’s because I’m busier now, or because I’m older, but the push mower is not as enticing as it once was.

Still, when the tractor is down and the push mower is working, the grass gets cut. This was the case this weekend, when I was trying to cut the grass at a property we recently purchased in the small town near where we live.

The yard at that property is about two acres, and I have yet to get it all mowed. The lawn tractor we purchased from my dad’s estate two years ago has some quirks and issues we are still trying to work out, and this weekend happened to be one when it was not running.

One of the great things about being in a small town is knowing the neighbors, and I know one gentleman nearby is a whiz with small engines. He stopped over and got that mower going in no time by replacing a fuse. When it quit on my son while he was mowing, the man came back and got it running again. When I tried to use it this past weekend, it again refused to start. I simply filled up the tank on the push mower and got started that way.

When I had been pushing about a half hour, I saw the same neighbor walking toward me. He asked me what I was doing, and I replied that I was mowing the grass. He asked why I was push mowing, and I told him the mower refused to start again. We walked over to take a look at it, and with nothing more than a penknife and his bare hands, he got that thing running.

Unfortunately, it didn’t stay running for long. He told me he was headed to town and would come back and fix it that evening. I went back to push mowing, happy for the break I had taken while we talked.

When I looked up a few minutes later, the neighbor had returned, riding his own lawnmower and preparing to show me how to use it. I quickly finished mowing the grass, somewhat sheepishly – and more than a little gratefully – for the lawn tractor. With the extra energy I had left, I did the trimming around the house and then on the monstrosity of a front bank the property has. I even had time to cut down a tree behind the garage.

I didn’t think I could be more grateful to this wonderful neighbor, but I was proven wrong. When I went past his house a few hours later, my lawn tractor was parked beside his house. The hood was up and he was underneath it, working on this newest issue. I’m sure it will be up and running when the yard is ready to be cut again, and I’m so glad I shouldn’t have to push mow it.

I have definitely gained a new appreciation for my riding tractor – and my neighbor – from all of this.

Laura Zoeller can be reached at zoeller5@verizon.net.

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