We moved to our Itty Bitty Goat Farm in the late 80’s after my husband, John was ordained by God to become a preacher, When we first purchased the place he fell in love with a delebated shed full of unidentifiable, valuable junk from the former owners.
Way back in a dusty corner of the tumbled down shack was a rickety, broken lawn mower trying valiantly to stand on three wheels. Looking at the debilitated mower and the thirty acres of valley we owned, he scrounged through the junk piles to find parts to repair the ancient machine. However, no amount of digging through the random cultch could uncover the missing wheel. A new spark plug was required for the machine to run with gusto.
After a quick trip to the local farm and feed store, John returned with the replacement parts, a spray can of green paint, and a receipt for six dollars. Thus the Valiant Valley Mower was born and would practically become a member of the family.
Over the next twelve years or so, John and the Valiant Valley Mower beat back the fields, until they became proud owners of an “estate.” To complete the job, man and machine spent a leisurely Saturday afternoon in the sun.
After a bit of discussion, we decided that it really was time to upgrade to a riding mower. Yes, you guessed it; John found a machine that had been repaired by an elderly man in his tinker shop. Old Valiant Valley still had a mission: to mow the lawn patches directly in front of the house that I hadn’t converted into a tree collection and perennial garden. The riding mower couldn’t maneuver in and out of the narrow garden paths.
With this new toy, John began testing the limits of the valley of weeds! Each passing year expanded the perimeters of our estate. A couple years later, he made a surprising announcement.
“I stopped by Lowes. They’ve got a mower with a bigger mowing deck. I could get the mowing job done quicker and have more time for play.”
Filled with pride, he purchased his first new riding mower.
Valiant Valley still had its mission of manicuring the area in the front yard that wasn’t a garden yet.
Eventually, John spent a full Saturday mowing our lawn that was taking on the appearance of a country club golf course. Occasionally, I’d take pity on him.
“How about a duel? I can mow more than you in an hour!”
With both of us mowing, we could conquer the lawn in less than five hours.
When he began eyeballing some industrial strength mowers at Agway, I suggested we sell our extra mowers or we’d have to hire all the neighbors to help us mow! John received the subtle hint.
Yesterday, he lamented and complained.
“Valiant Valley is acting sick and won’t stay running. What do you think, should I buy new power mower without all the bells and whistles to mow that patch or two of grass in the front garden?”
“What happened to ‘Make do, use it up, wear it out?’ ‘We’re going to be in the poorhouse if you buy another mower!’”
Valiant Valley, thank you for your many years of dependable service. John even believes you have finally earned your well deserved retirement. There is a special niche in the left hand corner of the barn just for you... May you rust in peace!
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