A few weeks ago my 15-year-old riding lawn mower bit the dust.
Why do I have a riding lawn mower? Because I'm a wimp? Well... there's that. And, I live where it's really hot in the summer (which lasts from April through October most years.) And my house is built on a 2/3 acre lot, which took three hours or more to mow with the walk-behind mower I started out with.
Anyway, the blade housing had rusted through a year ago, and I had patched it with a piece of sheet metal and some duct tape. But then I drove it across the water-meter casing lid in the front yard, just as I had done at least 500 times before. But this time the front wheel caused the meter lid to tilt up, and the paper-thin blade housing hit it.
The blade housing was bent back interfering with the blade. I was able to bend it clear, like pulling your front fender away from the tire when you've crunched into something so you can drive your crippled car away from the scene of the wreck. A new blade housing would cost $400 (!!). Plus the mower needed new tires, a new blade, and other parts.
I replaced the mower. Gave away the old one to a man who said he'd like to try to patch it up and get some more use out of it. Spent well over $2,000 to get a nice, hydrostatic drive, zero turn radius Cub Cadet. Heck, in past years I've spent less than that for a car!
But it's a REALLY NICE mower! I'm going to take very good care of this one, and try to make it last a loo-oo-oo-ong time. It runs faster than the old one, and has a wider cut, so I can mow the whole lawn -- front, back, and sides -- in about one hour!
But then this past weekend, my string trimmer started running rough and didn't have enough power to cut the thicker weeds around the edges of the fence. My fancy new mower gets fairly close to the edges, but I have to use the trimmer to get a really nice, finished look.
I tried cleaning the air cleaner. I cleaned the spark plug. I dumped out the fuel and mixed up some new gas and oil mixture. It starts, and it runs, but it has no power.
Today I took it to a shop to get it fixed. It'll be ready, they tell me, in about two to three weeks. Okay, fine.
But this is making me wonder . . . what's next? The car? Maybe one of my home appliances?
After this long peaceful period during which I have forborne from mentioning the "C" word, is it rearing it's ugly head?
Well, what do you think? Are YOU being affected? Is it time to warn everyone again?
Or should I just keep quiet?