Thursday, June 14, 2012

Grass Garden And Groundhogs


This is a re-post (with a bit of editing at the end) of an entry from three years ago. This took place during my first summer as the groundskeeper here, after my sweetheart was called home. Here is a word snapshot describing my first time behind the wheel of my lawn tractor. As in my last post, there was no shortage of challenges as I faced this new responsibility.

Aside from the initial challenges of getting the lawn tractor out of the shed, all went well with this rookie’s first solo lawn mowing on Friday. If you have ever read Scott Peck’s, “The Road Less Traveled”, you might remember the very first sentence: “Life is difficult”. My first moments of  operating my lawn tractor proved he knew what he was talking about!

Last week, my dear friend, Ed, taught me how to use my jump-start system to start the lawn tractor because the battery was weak. I tied the tractor seat down, knowing I would need to dismount to disconnect the battery cables when I got the tractor started. I knew that an empty seat would mean the engine would stop. I thought I had everything under control.

I got her started, unhooked, put her in reverse and immediately got the deck hung up on the shed ramp! Forward, reverse... the wheels just spun. I was good and stuck! Great, now what do I do, Lord? My pride and embarrassment kept me from seeking help to get out of this mess I had gotten myself into so soon. The Lord and I had to figure this out on our own. I turned the engine off and used a two by four under the tractor to get some leverage. I got the tractor to pivot somewhat and maneuvered it down the ramp and into the grass. I jump-started her again, disconnected the cables, turned her around and she was making a strange noise. Now what? I got off and looked underneath to realize that the way I tied the seat down was interfering with the wheels turning freely. I held the seat down while untying the rope, hopped back on and finally was on my way. Live and learn the hard way. Geez!

A few hours and a fresh sunburn later, the yard was shaping up and I was learning what not to do. Maybe an old dog can learn new tricks after all! At the end of the day, I was feeling good about things getting done. I spent some time weeding my new raised bed vegetable garden that my dear  neighbors, Mark and Kristie, put together for me while I was staying with Sarah and family. I came home to find three tomato plants, two broccoli plants and several different varieties of lettuce. Buck told Mark about his plan to put in some raised garden beds like the ones they had installed on their property. They had high hopes that Buck and I would be enjoying fresh veggies from our own garden this summer when he got home from the hospital. How kind and thoughtful of our friends to carry out Buck’s plan to provide a garden for me!
Photo credit: www.unionvilletim...ds/2012/02/Groundhog.jpg
Unfortunately, I was unwillingly sharing my garden with a family or two of groundhogs. I wondered if my two-legged neighbors thought I must have lost my sanity, if they witnessed my running across the yard while banging two large fry pan lids together, much like cymbals in a high school marching band performing at half-time. I happen to have a really bad attitude about the mooching marauders who consumed my broccoli and harvested my lettuce. My efforts to terrorize the greedy veggie vultures had a very temporary effect. I hope they got the message, but I have a strong suspicion that I'll be seeing them soon again. This would not be an issue if my marksman husband was still here to take care of business. The groundhog herds would be history for sure.

My apology to any of my animal lover friends who think I am cruel to have such aggressive thoughts. You are welcome to catch all the cute furry critters you can round up and please take them to your house. You would make me so happy!!!!


  1. Renee', I love this story! What we go through when we're single and living alone. Anyway, maybe you could get a fence up around your garden to keep the thieves out. ;) It's not that hard to do, but you might need some help. Throw some posts in and stretch some fencing around. Let me know if you need help with it! Love you much. Tess

  2. Your absolutely right, Tess. A fence is exactly what I need. I should look into that. Don't know why I have had a mental block about doing it. Probably because I know it will make more work for me. Something more to trim around. I hate that! Thank you for your kind offer to help me with it. I'll let you know how I make out if I go through with it. Have a wonderful weekend, dear friend!