Eye on the prize

Sunday, 8 August 2010
Why do I do it?  I try to get things done in an efficient way and I like to work hard, quickly.  Sometimes, that can bite me in the rear.

I canned salsa from fresh tomatoes on Friday night (more about that later) and finished the process with relative success.  It was 8:40 pm and my grass was probably 6" tall.  "Plenty of time to mow the front yard before it gets too dark," I thought to myself.

Literally running to my bedroom to get my "mowing shoes," I felt energized by my novice canning abilities.  Plus, the salsa was decent. (Perhaps a bit too much vinegar and a shade too many peppers for my taste but it will be perfect next time.)

Outside, I fired up the mower on the 3rd pull and with a gleam of smugness in my eye, I started pushing the thing around the yard. I got through about half of it when the mower quit.  I primed and pulled and pulled and pulled and it would not start.  I sat down on the grass to rest for 3 seconds.  What could it be? I stood up and tried to start it again.  I pulled and pulled and pulled.  Nothing.  Then it dawned on me: gasoline!

I collected the gas can, my keys and wallet and drove to the Pilot.  The clerk noticed the can and said, "It's too dark to mow!"  By this time it was getting dark.  "Just a few more strips to go," I laughed, trying to keep the shrillness out of my voice.  Home again.

The gas cap came off easily and I filled the tank.  Feeling confident, I primed and pulled.  Then I pulled and pulled and pulled and pulled and pulled harder... nope. After trying twice more, I sat down on the grass again.  This time sweat dripped into my eye and I quickly used my fingers to wipe it away.  Bad move.


A burning sensation started near my eyebrow and went to the depths of my pupil, growing from a tingle to a roaring blaze. I had forgotten to wash my hands after cutting hot peppers.  My eye was on fire and I couldn't open it.

Fully angry now, I stood up and with only one eye open, used my fury to try to start the mower again.  Nothing.  Not able to open my eye, I muttered choice words and rolled the mower to the back of the house.  Purposefully looking away from the random triangle of grass that wasn't mowed in my yard, I went inside and told Violet it was time to go to bed.

The next day, after 8 hours of work I came home ready to win the yard battle.  Surprise!  My wonderful neighbor had already mowed it for me.  My lawn has never looked so good and I've never been so relieved.  My eye is going to be just fine.  My pride is another thing...   

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