I PUT MY TORO MOWER at curbside. I taped on it a sign: FREE. Runs, burns oil.
It’s perhaps 25 years old. Maybe older. Almost a friend. I’ve talked to it many times, thanking it for running so well and for staying with me so long.
Hokey, I know.
It stopped mid-mow on me a couple of weeks ago. And it was nearly bone dry on oil, though I had serviced the mower just a few weeks earlier.
I took the sudden stop as a sign that I needed to retire the Toro and get a new mower.
I bought a mower that runs on a rechargeable electric battery. It keeps running for about an hour—long enough to mow my yard.
Lady with the tall grass
There’s a young lady who lives a few houses away. I don’t think she’s much older than the Toro, though I’m terrible at guessing ages of humans.
The lady seems to be a loner. I’ve never seen her engage anyone. She doesn’t wave back at me.
The grass on her lawn grows high. It sometimes grows higher than the eight inches that city law allows. I’ve seen notices about this taped to her front door.
I put the Toro curbside on Saturday evening. Then I went out to eat with my son and his family. Mexican.
By the time I got home, the mower was gone.
I felt a little sad. It had been a reliable tool for so long.
A few days later, driving home, I saw the neighbor lady in her front yard.
She was mowing her lawn.
You guessed it. She was pushing a well-used Toro.
Did you ever feel happy and sad in the same moment?
I was happy to see that the Toro found a home and was back to doing what it has done so well and for so long.
But I was sad, too, and disappointed in myself. I started wondering if the reason her grass grew so high is because she had to depend on others to mow it, perhaps when a friend was available or maybe when she found the money to hire it done.
I don’t know.
What I do know is that this is giving me pause when I’m walking Buddy the Dog and I come to lawns that aren’t in compliance with city law.
It reminds me that there are other laws in play.
“Don’t judge people and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn and you won’t be condemned…Give and you’ll receive. What you get back will be like a big basket fully loaded, pushed down and shaken to make room for more. And it will be like a bucket so full that it runs over the top and spills into your lap. However much you decide to give, that same level of generosity or stinginess will determine what you get.” —Jesus, Luke 6:37-38, Casual English Bible