Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Phew! (02/11/10)
TITLE: THAT THING
By Jean Beier
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Now this will certainly give away my age, but I began to dream of easier and more peaceful days. The good old days when mowing the lawn was not only quieter but actually fun. And you needed no gasoline and oil. There was no tugging on a cord till you had exhausted all your strength. You simply placed your hands on the hand bar and pushed away. Two wheels with blades attached between them would whirl and cut, throwing the grass back on the ground to either be raked, or left to enrich the ground it spread on. You moved at your own speed, not wrestling the power of an uncontrollable monster.
Not expecting that such a piece of equipment still could be in existence, I found that good old Sears still carries such a contraption. It is called a reel mower. They also come with two small extra wheels that work much like training wheels on a beginner bike. It looks quite funny, but it does give stability. I decided to purchase one.
So the first warm sunny day, I got out my newly acquired reel mower. I was happy and content as I began my walk back and forth the grass. It was just as I remembered, fun and quiet. That is until one of the neighborhood children spotted me. You would think he had spotted an alien from out of space. He lay belly down on the ground, head in his hands, elbows on the ground, and watched. Finally he got the courage to ask, “What is that?”
I answered quite simply, “It’s a lawnmower.” He looked doubtfully at it and me, got up from the ground and left.
Minutes later, the boy returned, but not alone. With him came several other neighbor hood children, all of which stared whimsically at the thing and me. That is what I heard them call the mower, “that thing”. I was spared hearing what they called me, but I’m sure old lady was in their vocabulary somewhere.
I had just gotten used to the audience, and had managed to space them out, so I could enjoy my back to the past experience; when a car drove up and parked in front of my home. A man older than me, stepped out of the car, and walked up to me. I noticed that he had a religious track in his hands. I was braced for his mini sermon, but instead he blurted out, “I haven’t seen one of those for many years. Where did you ever find it?” With humor in his voice he added, “And what are those little wheels attached behind the bigger wheels?” He went on telling of his own memories of those long ago days when such a contraption was not such a foreign sight.
The man looked at me and then at the children. He smiled, got in his car, and drove off. I chuckled when I realized that the man had forgotten why he had come to visit me. He never gave me the mini sermon and he forgot to leave the track.
Finally, I got back to the task at hand, walking back and forth, back and forth; all the while the children taking in the funny scene. I prayed for boredom to rain down upon them, but God must have been too busy laughing, because the children kept their watch.
By the time I made the final sweep, and the grass stood with its new crew cut, and looking quite fine; I had a new vision of a new mower. It would have a key electric start, and have front wheel drive. It wouldn’t be quite as entertaining, but….
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