Being a home owner is awesome. That awesomeness has a price stapled to it and when we became home owners for the first time last year, it became abundantly clear that we would need to acquire some more stuff. One of those things was a lawn mower and because we moved in at the beginning of the summer it wasn’t something that I could procrastinate on.
Who am I kidding, I bummed and borrowed neighbors mowers for the first month while I avoided spending any more money on house stuff (buying five new appliances, a water heater, mattress, and tons of other stuff will cure you of shopping).
Thankfully, my in-laws gifted us with their used corded electric mower. It had a tiny 18″ mowing deck, but our yard is tiny and most importantly the price was right, free! I bought a new blade for it and a really long extension cord and quit bothering our neighbors (probably to their relief). Over the course of the summer I learned the best way to cut the grass while being mindful of the energy supplying umbilical cord. It got the job done, even if I spent more time untangling cord than cutting grass.
This spring shopping fever was starting to take hold again. All of the home improvement stores had such nice displays of mowers. The memory of fighting extension cords was still fresh and motivating me to find something better. Gas mowers have been around a long time, don’t have cords to worry about, and are economical. I used to mow my parents lawn and some lawns around my hometown using a trusty gas mower, but given the fact that we have such a dainty yard and no other gas powered tools, it seemed inefficient to add a gas tool to our otherwise all electric collection. A corded electric mower was out of the running from the get go but maybe a battery powered one might be the answer. Battery powered mowers have come a long way in recent years thanks to the mass production of lithium ion batteries. These energy dense rechargeable batteries have taken the consumer electronics market by storm, but like any rechargeable battery, it will wear out over time. The prospect of spending $100 every three years is not very appealing to me. The only other way of mowing a yard is by human power. Reel mowers are a centerpiece fixture of my imagining of the 1950s. One of our neighbors has a reel mower and it is wonderfully quiet, especially when his neighbor brings out a gas monster. My wife, Shae, is all in favor of reel mowers, but she’s also mowed the yard once (ever in her whole life). So like any on-the-fence individual, I did nothing and slugged out another season with the long tailed red devil.
This past week while mowing the yard, the mower became very difficult to steer. Looking down I saw that one side of the handle had disconnected from the mower body. “AHA, the mower is broken, now I can justify a new one”, I thought, until the ridiculousness of that statement hit me a minute later.
Knowing what I had to do, I went to the hardware store and spent $1.31 for a new bolt and wing nut.
Two minutes later, the mower was fixed.
While this mower is a bit of a pain to use, it does do the job it is meant to do and until it properly dies, I’ll keep on using it. How often do we throw something out or buy something new just because we don’t have the best or shiniest. I bet I can get another year out of this mower, and at the end of next year, I will probably say the same thing.
Thanks in-laws for the functioning mower. It gets the job done and we’ve been able to put money towards things that really matter, like Frugal Boy’s education fund.
Mending in a Throwaway Society
[…] breaks in our household. This is not a new topic for this blog as I previously wrote about it here (Squeezing Every […]