Walter’s Replacement

So to continue on my theme of incompetence this week…

My dad found me a very nice, used riding mower yesterday. And brought it to me.

As we were coordinating a spot for him in my front outbuilding. My parents saw Walter.

And immediately began ridiculing him. And me.

“So, you’ve been mowing an acre of land. With a toy mower?”

“Should we send Kyrie over to mow with this for you?”

“It’s just so tiny.”

“Let me show you how to use this new big girl mower.”

I endured it. The bullying. Because they’d just got me this riding mower.

And they’re my parents.

I have to love them no matter how they treat me.

So, my dad ran through all of the controls. Showed me where to put the gas. (This was a legitimate demonstration. I never would have found it on my own. Because why would they hide the gas tank under the hood???)

Showed me how to lift and lower the mowing deck.

How to put the brake on. And release it.

Dad, I’m not an idiot. I can figure all this out.

I’m a strong, independent woman.

Satisfied that I wasn’t going to roll the mower. Or plow down any fencing. They went on back home. And left me to mow my lawn.

And things started out a little dodgy.

The front tires don’t track entirely right. Or maybe my vision doesn’t. Whatever the issue. I struggled to keep it on any kind of actual path.

But I’m also not looking to win any lawn of the year awards.

I’m just hoping to keep the city from condemning my home.

So I’m about 98% done with the lawn. When the skies opened up.

Just dumping rain on me.

And here’s where it gets…worrisome…

So I direct the mower on back over to the front outbuilding. Where we’d made space for him.

Except. There’s only a tiny strip of grass between the outbuilding ramp. And the cement landing. At the bottom of my deck.

And I’m no longer sure what magic allowed me to get the mower through there the first time.

Because he sure as hell wasn’t going back through this time.

Just kept running the deck into the cement landing.

So I’d back up. And steer to the left.

And would run into the ramp.

And it’s pouring rain.

And panic is setting in a little bit.

But I’m not about to call my dad.

Because I’m a strong, independent woman.

And then I remembered that I have a second outbuilding.

Which seemed excessive when I moved in. But now seems brilliant.

So I maneuver on over to the other building.

And…

Rain still pouring down.

I get it opened up. And start to drive the mower up the ramp.

But…

I don’t have great depth perception. Or ability to gauge distances.

So it took me a few times to get the tires lined up with the very narrow ramp.

Which is when the mower decided that he had no interest in this building. And just stopped.

I mean, the motor kept running. But the tires refused to grip. On the very wet, slippery ramp boards.

And the rain is still pouring.

And my panic is growing.

And so I decide I can just push it up into the building.

Because I’m not at all weak…

So I put it in neutral.

And then realize that it’s just going to slide backwards back down the ramp if I do that.

So I tried to put the parking brake on. Except I can’t remember how to do that.

But also. I do remember that I have to push on the brake pedal to release it.

And I don’t think I can do that from behind the mower.

And rain is still just pouring.

And the ramp is getting slippery-er.

And so I put the mower into gear. To keep it from sliding back. (Because I understand how gears work. So we should maybe focus on this one tiny glimmer of competence for a moment.)

And then I get behind the mower.

And have to kind of crawl forward on top of it. To shift it back into neutral.

While keeping my footing on the increasingly slippery boards.

And holding the rather heavy machine in position.

And I successfully manage that.

And start pushing.

Which is when I realize that I can’t push straight up into the building.

Because the mower won’t fit that way.

So I have to again lay on top of the mower. To steer it into the building. Without also steering it too early. Off the side of the ramp. While also keeping it from rolling backwards onto me.

And why has nobody seen me out here struggling? And come to save my strong, independent ass?

And I’m am fully soaked through.

And my dad’s voice just echoing through my head.

“Don’t leave it out in the rain…”

And panic is rising.

And I honestly do not know where my insurance card is. Or my phone.

How long will it take them to find my body.

And sweet mother I am weak.

And whyyyy did the rain start so early???

And seriously. Where the hell are my neighbors????

It’s fine.

I did it.

I got him safely inside.

Which is when the rain stopped…

So, anyway.

Who’s going to help me back him out of that building when it’s time to mow again next weekend?

Because I think I’ve proven that I do not have the skill set to do that unsupervised.

…I’m a project manager now…

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