Wednesday, April 29, 2009

...and I turn 40something again. But we'll get to that soon enough. First, I have to cut down a tree.

When the weather turns warmish, and sane people start thinking of planting things, it is my instinct to get out there and chop stuff the hell down. I don't know why. To me, destruction pruning is the most satisfying yard work there is.

For a long while there had been a branch dangling from one of the scrappy useless oak trees along the side of our driveway. It hung right over where a person would have to walk if they were getting in the passenger side of a car parked where visitors usually park. My brother visits us every few weeks, and he and I usually go out to lunch or something while he's here. All winter long I've been walking into that goddamn branch. When decent temperatures finally arrived, I was ready to do some damage. That tree was coming down, baby. Why not just go after the branch, you ask? Well. One of my yard jobs is to rake leaves in the fall. If you're a tree in my yard, you'd better be lovely enough to warrant cleaning up after you. This one didn't qualify by a long shot.

So I went to get my favorite hand saw. We do have a chain saw, but it isn't working. No - it is stuck in Mr. Sandyshoes's particularly excruciating brand of should-I-fix-it-or-buy-a-new-one limbo. Also, I don't love chain saws overmuch. I know a lot of tree guys with too many scars and accident stories. Besides, I am not the most coordinated person you'll ever meet.

My favorite hand saw is now kept, along with all the other implements of outdoor destruction, in our new shed. Mr. Sandyshoes built the shed last year, all by himself. Not from a kit, but "from sticks," as they say. He is pretty damn cool, even though I am about to make it seem otherwise.

Once I got the shed door open (which, note to Mr. Sandyshoes, needs to be made easier to do), I could not get to the saw because there was a brand new lawn mower, still in its box, blocking the way. Now, regular readers may remember that Mr. Sandyshoes and I have had something of an ongoing discussion about a new lawn mower. In brief: although I agreed to do most of the lawn mowing, trying to accomplish it with a machine that doesn't reliably start or continue to run once started was beginning to piss me off something fierce. And as the old saying goes, ain't Mama happy, ain't nobody happy.

So - why the new lawnmower tucked away in the shed, without a peep from my lovely husband about having chosen and bought one? Why, indeed.

I pondered that some, as I sawed away at the object of my wrath and hauled it in pieces onto the brush pile.

When he noticed a couple of days later that I'd cut down the tree, and deduced that I'd have had to go into the shed before doing so, a look passed between us. Later that evening, I showed him this little video:

Nevertheless, the lawn mower appeared on my birthday. Note the sort of smooshed purple bow on the box (top right. It's a small bow. A humble bow. An am-I-sleeping-in-the-shed-tonight sort of bow).

My friends' opinions are about equally divided (and not along gender lines) between "Cool! A lawn mower!" and "What, he couldn't have got you some earrings?" Me? I'm psyched to finally have a new lawn mower (self-propelled! GUARANTEED TO START!), and frankly glad to have been spared the process of choosing one. I'm not overjoyed that my birthday coincides with the onset of lawn mowing season, but whachagonnado.

And won't he have a nice Christmas the year the vacuum cleaner needs replacing?


  1. I bought that lawn mower two summers ago. Love it. Went to Home Depot looking for the manual start version of it, but they were out of stock. So I got the electric start version for the same price. Turn the key. Mowing heaven.

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!

  2. Thanks, Randy.

    Mowing heaven, eh? I like the sound of that.

  3. LOL!! I love the video! I definitely just sent it to everyone I know.

  4. dennis from dennis10:17 AM, May 04, 2009

    What, he couldn't have got you some earrings?

  5. Happy Belated birthday. Just getting caught up on some posts I bookmarked to read last week. Love the video!