Our lawnmower has been broken for 5 weeks now. We're lucky that it hasn't rained much in those five weeks, so the lawn isn't as long as we might have expected. Still, I come home from grocery shopping to find business cards on the door from people offering to mow it for us. Apparently our failure to maintain a proper suburban lawn has been noticed.
Our mower is a very used commercial mower. Replacement parts for a 20 year-old mower an not easy to find, and they're surprisingly expensive. I'll spare you the blow by blow view, but to summarize, P has been diligently trying to locate the part we need, so far to no avail. The search is also getting increasingly expensive, as we end up paying substantial, nonrefundable shipping fees on parts that turn out to be close but not quite right, and then restocking fees when we have to send them back.
Finally we stepped back and realized that, for less money than we were going to spend on the replacement part, we could just get a new push mower. P had been window-shopping online, and was thrilled to learn that the mower he was drooling over turned out to also be a model that Consumer Reports recommended.
Our new Husqvarna 6120 arrived yesterday. P was really excited to have his new toy, and immediately set it up and started mowing--despite the fact that it was a scorching hot day, and the forecasts said today would be much cooler.
This is one of the many reasons why P is in charge of mowing the lawn, and I am not. If it were up to me, the lawn would probably go unmowed June-August, and not because the mower was broken. Hey, we'd be providing native meadowland habitat, right?
Anyway, P was so delighted with his new mower, that he skipped dinner to mow the entire lawn. (He had originally planned to do just the small portion in front.) So far, we have nothing but good things to say about the mower. There was virtually no assembly required, and it even came with its own bottle of motor oil--so the true mower enthusiast can get straight out to the lawn without having to run by the store first. Starts right up when you pull the cord. And my favorite part is that the mulching feature works really well. We thought we'd have to rake the grass clippings this time, since we'd let it get so long. But the mower properly pulverized them, and no work for us! (Plus it makes the lawn virtually self-fertilizing.)
P hasn't entirely given up on getting the big mower fixed. With it, he can mow the lawn in less than a third of the time it takes him with this little guy. The push mower is cheaper than a gym membership, and a good way for him to work off the stresses of the day, but sometimes it's nice to just get the lawn done fast. So we'll see how things develop on that front....