Good afternoon, riding mower fans

Today’s special event (let’s help Malcolm mow his yard) has been canceled due to hot weather. Even CNN, which normally stays quiet about news it doesn’t like, posted numerous stories about the heat, noting among other things that heat will be bad in the South. Duh. Apparently, the weather system is centered around Mempis. Those of us who live in Georgia think all bad weather begins in Memphis.

I didn’t see much hope for tomorrow or the day after in this news story: The worst of the latest heat wave is expected to be in the South, with triple-digit temperatures possible in Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio in Texas, and New Orleans and Atlanta. And there’s no relief in sight. About 65% of the entire US population will see temperatures above 90 degrees over the next week, and almost 60 million will be sweltering in temperatures at or above 100. – CNN

CNN Map as of two days ago

(For those of you who are unsure just where North Georgia is, we’re 56 miles northwest of Atlanta as the crow flies.)

{Looking at the lame jokes page, I see: “The potatoes cook underground, and all you have to do to have lunch is to pull one out and add butter, salt, and pepper.” It’s probably true along with farmers feeding chickens crushed ice so they won’t lay hardboiled eggs.}

Here in Rome, GA, we no longer laugh at those jokes. However, if EMTs respond to your house because you’re a victim of heat stroke, they’ll take you straight to the morgue where the cool air might revive you. If not, you’re where you’ll end up anyway.

Btw, my apologies to hard-core lawn-mowing aficionados who believe a standard riding mower should be called a “lawn tractor.”

Those of you wondering when the next scheduled let’s help Malcolm mow his yard is scheduled, stop by as soon as it (the sky) starts raining. As always, there will be sweet tea for those doing the mowing and beer for the kids.

Malcolm

P.S. If you look online and see that you can tell Facebook your problems by sending them (the problems) to support@fb.com, don’t bother. Anything sent to that e-mail address bounces back. 

Cut the crap, Mother Nature, we need to cut the grass

The Problem

Look, we have several acres of grass that are getting so high we can’t see Robbie lurking in it when he runs outside. The cattle on the other side of the fence are looking like they want to bust into our yard and chow down. (It’s happened before.) And finally, we have one of our riding mowers up and running.

But we’re waiting for you, Mother Nature, to get this problem squared away. Maybe tomorrow morning’s projected frost will dry out the wet grass. Yeah, right. On the map, we’re in the upper northwest part of the state (GA) that, at present is GREEN (like our uncut grass).

Our property is really too large and bumpy for these riding mowers. We had an old Ford tractor but sold it off when we discovered the bush hog was shot. Otherwise, it might have helped us keep up with the non-yard part of our property–and saved a lot of wear and tear on these mowers which are held together with baling wire.

Getting back to the weather, the local conjure women know how to clean this mess up, but they won’t help me because they claim I gave away too many of their secrets in Conjure Woman’s Cat. Heck, maybe they’re right even though I fudged the hexes so people couldn’t use the novel as a recipe book. On top of that, Mother Nature’s blocked me on her Facebook page.

So there it is.

Malcolm

P.S. I’ve added a news page to my website. Click on my name to take a look.

Mother Nature Must be on Pot

Mother Nature is acting stoned. Must be too much grass or perhaps it’s weed cut with oregano.

Otherwise, what’s with Florida-style rain storms every other day? We have about three acres of grass (not pot) to cut, but Mother Nature is making that hard to keep them mowed.

Pick a day, any day. Okay, Monday, then.

  • The grass is high, but too wet to mow. I decide, after all, tomorrow’s another day.
  • That night, a monsoon parks on top of the ancient oaks in the front yard. As God is my witness, I’ll never be dry again.
  • Two days later, the grass is dry (sort of) so I mow some of it. It’s slow going because it’s higher than the house. How fickle is Mother Nature?
  • The following day it (the sky, the clouds, evil spirits) rains because we’ve seen clouds from all sides now.
  • We mow for 20 minutes before lighting hits the riding mower. We decide to go inside where the cats are hiding under the bed.  Great balls of fire. Don’t bother me anymore, Mother Nature, and don’t call me sugar.
  • A guy with a hay bailer stops at the front door to ask if we need help. I ask if he bails hay (weed, pot, fescue) into rectangular bails bound with bailing wire. He says nobody does that anymore. Here’s the thing, I say. I can’t pick those hay rolls up without a tractor. He says he’ll bring a tractor and take them away for $100 a roll. To hell with that.
  • More rain.
  • Finally, we cut some of the grass (not pot) but due to its height, we have to move the deck of the mower as high as it will go. This means that as soon as we’re done, it looks like it’s time to cut the grass again. Unfortunately, we’ve been mowing in the dark using the mower’s headlights and we really do need some sleep. Frankly, says, Mother Nature, I don’t give a damn.
  • If we could smoke this stuff, we wouldn’t care.
  • Okay, now we’re back to square one. The grass is high, but too wet to mow. I decide tomorrow is another day.

Malcolm

“Lena” will be released in 27 days.

 

Springtime means trying to start the lawn mower

During the cold, wet, seemingly endless winter when more people than not are discontent, dreams focus on springtime and sitting in the sun and leaving the windows open.

First sign of lawn mowing season.
First sign of lawn mowing season.

I think about the lawn mower.

Later on I think about hot Georgia afternoons and start looking for the first signs of autumn’s more civilized weather. After my wife and I finished planting six more flowering trees, we wandered over to the riding mower out of curiosity.

It started on the first try, bless its heart.

Now that we’ve started the lawn mower, the grass has suddenly gotten the idea that it should grow like there’s no tomorrow. I know there’s going to be a tomorrow: I saw it in the weather forecast which said, “Warmer temps just perfect for lawn mowing.”

Now the grass looks like we’ve never bothered to mow it and in a rural area where people often use combines to cut trim their front yards, it gets kind of hard to go outside during the day time in the grass is tall enough to bale.

Naturally all the gasoline cans were empty. They’re full now and the car smells like the BP station.

I’m almost ready to sit on my riding mower with an ice bold beer in the cup holder and dream of snow and old man winter.

–Malcolm

AtSeaBookCoverMalcolm R. Campbell’s navy novel “At Sea” is free on Kindle March 18, 19 and 20.

Lawn Mowing for the First Time This Year

mower2My wife tells me that if we’re going to hike in the mountains late in the summer, we need to start getting in shape now. Walking from our house to the main street and back again is two miles, round trip. After mowing the lawn today for the first time this year, I see it’s time to star walking that walk.

Every muscle aches as though I spent the day playing football rather than walking behind our relatively light-weight rotary lawn mower. The first-of-spring grass-and-weed combination was almost too high for the mower, so my excuse is that things ache because I had to do more pushing.

I can tell you from experience, the first adventure in lawn mowing gets harder every year. Goodness knows what a five mile hike at 5,000 feet of elevation would have been like.

When I lived in Florida, I went to a college summer session at the University of Colorado in Boulder. It took me weeks to get used to the elevation. When I came back, though, I felt like Superman in my Gulf Coast World.

I’m hoping that means that when we get back from the mountains this year, I’ll feel half my age while mowing the lawn for the last time before winter, such as it is, in Georgia.

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell’s contemporary fantasies, “The Sun Singer” and “Sarabande,” are set in the mountains of Glacier National Park, Montana

Read it now on your Kindle
Read it now on your Kindle