Friday, June 3, 2011

An expensive lesson

I like weekends.  Gator Wife and I get to spend at least part of it with our daughter who  visits us and helps us take care of many things we're finding more difficult as age and health have begun to slow us down.  GD will be little surprised as her mother bought several more plants and things during the week.

This weekend won't be quite the same, however, as all but one of those purchases have been planted.  The one remaining is a rose bush, possibly the only bush I can identify by name, and the younger Gator will dig the hole for it.  Other than that, it'll be just a nice, cool, pleasant weekend.

I had a lesson on Thursday:  not watching out what's going on around you can be very expensive.  As those of you who read this with any regularity at all probably know, my lawn tractor, which serves as both a lawn mower in the spring to fall seasons and as a snow blower in the winter, has a bagging attachment.

The machine also has a safety device that shuts down the mower deck when the machine is put into reverse.  It is very easy to bypass that device, which I did Thursday as what I needed to do was vacuum up some of nature's debris from the driveway.  Unfortunately, the design of the tractor has the exhaust pipe in the front so the move through that type of debris going forward simply blows it around.  It does a great job of vacuuming in reverse.

A bag fell off the bagger.  I didn't realize it.

You'd be amazed what the blades of a mower deck can do to a grass bagger in just one or two seconds or less.  It sure wasn't going to collect any more grass.  Or anything else, for that matter.  There's a small chance I might have muttered a few very carefully chosen words under my breath.

The grass had no sympathy, however, and mowing had to be done.  So off to the dealer to buy a replacement bag.  I suspected it wasn't the kind of item they'd have in stock and I'd have to order one, but I was wrong.  "Sure," said the very helpful clerk after I explained my need.  And off he went for a new one.  "Happens a lot more often than you'd think," he explained, "but not usually while the machine is in reverse."

I won't shock you with the price, but it must be nice to be the manufacturer of bags that were designed only for one bagging device.

Nevertheless, the new bag is in place and the machine is ready for its weekend trip around the yard, but you can believe I'll be watching those bags a whole lot more carefully.

The weather reports sort of indicate this weekend will be mostly a nice one.  The report does indicate that we who live along the Maine coast (I'm just a few miles of it)  will be slightly cooler in the 60s than the warmth, in the 70s, you who live a little further inland will enjoy.

Have a great June weekend.


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