We finally mowed the lawn this weekend. Yeah, I know, it's mid-April, but I started to feel sorry for Fysh (our cat) when she walked outside. She could no longer walk through the grass, she had to do that bounding thing that you see dogs do in the wheat fields.
Part of why we waited so long was that the lawn mower needed some work. Mary ran over the starter cord, then we didn't pick the thing up for a week or two, then we found that the plastic shielding next to the blade had come loose. The lawn mower dude said, "It's a Sears model? Cut it off!" Not real encouraging.
But I'm happy with our little mower. When using the bag attachment, it pretty easily handled patches of grass 36 inches high. Yup, I mowed through grass growing up past my knees, and sometimes at the top of my thigh. I've got to give a hearty thumbs up to the Craftsman 7.0 HP mower, it certainly does the job for us.
We must have about a dozen different types of grass in our yard. Some grew tall, some stayed about 3 inches high, some wide blade. There were spots where the grass had grown so thick that interior patches of grass died out and left bare soil. The grass was thick enough that, in places, I had to lift the mower over the grass because I wasn't strong enough to push the mower through it.
An hour and a half after starting, I finished and figured I'd mowed 250 gallons of grass.
We have one of those yard-debris cans with a capacity of 98 gallons. I filled it about a third of the way into the back yard. One patch was thick enough that I could barely finish the 5'x5' square before I had to empty the bag. The only reason I didn't reach 300 gallons was that about a quarter of our yard is under black plastic. Because I like slip-n-slides, that's why. No, it's because we're killing the grass and weeds so we can put in beds of plants and a path/patio.
But, speaking of slip-and-slides, the two best slip-and-slide moments ever:
#2) Not so much for the slide itself, but ... my first girlfriend and I were walking around Reed college one summer when we noticed a huge slip-and-slide some kids had set up. It had to be 60 feet long, going slightly downhill. All in all, an impressive slide. Being Reed, there was a naked guy participating in the activities. But wait, that's not the good part. Down the hill and a little off to the side were an older couple (60's-70's). The woman was on her side, with her back to the action, but her husband was peering over her side using a camera with a telephoto lens - apparently taking pictures of the sorted affair.
#1) The best slip-and-slide moment I've seen was after a trail ride in Washington (probably Lewis River). Sam and I were driving back, enjoying the beautiful weather with the windows rolled down. We were in the country-side and were passing a house with some kids playing in the front. They'd set up a slip-and-slide with a little inflatable pool at the end of it. One of the boys ran and slid right as we were passing by. He so much speed that he launched himself over the pool onto the grass. Sam and I hoot and hollered like a couple of rednecks, thinking it was awesome. I'm sure the kid heard us because he looked over at us in mid-flight. Best slip-and-slide moment ever.
Back to the grass. Our yard looks somewhat respectable now (ignoring the black plastic), and I'm not so embarrassed when I drive up.