Crushed the Old-Fashioned Reel Mower Challenge!

I’ve been looking at the grass for a little over a week now and could not see a way out of mowing. Thank goodness for dumb luck. I crushed the old-fashioned reel mower challenge today.

I grew up using a reel mower. I never had a power mower until Sena and I bought our first house and, things being what they were, the grass there had not been mowed in a long while. I had to get after it with a weed wacker and not the gas-powered kind.

My neighbor saw me and kindly lent me his power mower. I bought my own but after we moved we never owned another one. Most of the time we hired a lawn care service. They got expensive and I bought a reel mower.

Most of the time during my medical training and after I was working full time as a consultation-liaison psychiatrist in an academic medical center, Sena just took over the mowing during the week. I did the edging around the driveway and sidewalks on weekends.

Today is the first time in years that I’ve used the reel mower. This is coming up because I’m in phased retirement and I want to be the mower guy.

I have a renewed respect for Sena’s stamina and strength. Initially, she was unsure about my techniques. In fact, I thought I would have to throw in the towel and get a power mower—maybe even today.

In fact, our neighbor offered to let us borrow his electric mower. He looked worried about us. Maybe we looked a little frail.

I had the usual stock excuses for my less than yeoman job at first on lawn mowing: it’s the season’s first mow, I’m a rookie, the mower was reverse engineered from alien technology, I forgot to bury a dead frog under a full moon, and so on.

However, by some miracle I managed to pull it off. Sena ended up calling it a “beautiful job,” even better than the lawn care crew who use those big stand-behind power mowers and always seem to cut the grass too short. She told me I could say that.

I did other lawn care jobs the old-fashioned way, including edging using a rotary manual edger and worked with a hand clipper. Sena did the watering which always makes manual edging easier and offering helpful advice (“Missed a spot!”). Actually, because we worked in the yard together, it turned out to be a pretty nice old-fashioned way to spend a Saturday morning.

As soon as possible, we’re putting our names on the wait list for the senior center cooperative where all that stuff is done for you and all you have to do is change your light bulbs.

Nope, nope, nope. Just kidding—at least for now. Old-fashioned manual lawn care is in our foreseeable future unless of course there is a mysterious, unpredictable accident with the reel mower rendering it permanently and completely disabled through absolutely no fault of mine but possibly due to a conspiracy by government agents attempting to create a cover story for the public about top secret negotiations with aliens trying to sell us upgraded weather balloons.