My First Lawn Tractor Ride

As promised: First Lawn Tractor

For anyone who doesn’t know (and I didn’t until a few weeks ago), a lawn tractor is like a a ride-on lawn mower on steroids. It’s a little bigger, more powerful, and can tow things. But it also cuts grass. I should say, boy does it ever cut grass.

Future Husband (FH) was in Geneva for work and before he left, he mentioned that it would be great if I mowed the lawn while he was away. Here’s a key piece of information about our new home that I haven’t relayed until this point: we bought a house on 15.75 acres of land. Most of it is wooded, which we love. But there’s a fair bit of lawn, too, hence the lawn tractor. Before he left, FH offered to show me around the machine, but we kinda got distracted by brush cleaning, so it didn’t happen. Instead, I received the following instruction via phone:

  • Driving a lawn tractor is easy
  •  Just take a look at the controls and you’ll figure it out.
  •  Don’t drive over rocks.
  • Remember the power take off (um, exqueese me?).

Thus armed, I set out to conquer the lawn tractor and cut the grass around the house and pond. (Yeah, we have a pond too. Our place is awesome.) And I did ok for a while. It was pretty easy and I figured out this power take off business before I had the notion of riding across our gravel driveway. I definitely missed some spots and the rather old and busted lawn tractor had a tendency to stall on sharp turns, but I was doing fine. Well, until I went ever so slightly off path down near the pond.

I was motoring along and cutting the edge of the space around the pond, where the grass was particularly long. Then I got stuck on a rock. Now, I was following my instructions; I did not hit the rock with the blade. I saw the darned thing in time to take off power and lift the blade, but figured I’d just be able to drive over the rock and resuming cutting. That’s not quite how things worked. Apparently, the tractor also stalls when one of the rear wheels is in mid-air. So I turned it back on and tried to reverse back out. No joy. I got off and tried to push. Nope, not moving. I stood there for a minute, imagining the conversation FH and I would be having in a little less than a week, regarding my apparent inability to drive or dislodge a lawn tractor. I have my pride, so I climbed back on and tried the classic snow/mud removal technique of forward-reverse-rocking.  I got the machine moving again and finished the mowing. I’m very pleased to say that my pride remains intact. Actually, my pride may be so intact that this is the first FH is hearing about this… Life on the farm is good.

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