Monday, May 01, 2006


I have spent a lot of the past couple of days trying restore an old -- at least 50 years, maybe more -- reel mower. Maybe you know the kind: cast iron workings, wood handle and shaft, heavy and awkward, no engine.

That last is what I love most about the mower, or at least the idea of the reel mower. Whatever industry and exploitation and pollution -- and craft, skill, commerce -- went ito its manhuafcture, that was it. The reel mower's supply chain is me, as is its fuel source.

Despite much of the work being done on what many -- and most of my neighbors and relatives -- consider a sabbath, I was delivered of some prime invective (creative anmd foul even for me) as I worked to loosen long-srusted bolts and sharpen long-dulled blades. Maybe you heard me.

The mower -- I may give it a name -- is closer to working now than it was or has been for the past quarter-century at least -- but is still not quite there.

Nor is my property well-suited to this kind of mower.

But I think I may be.

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