Last week marked the end of an era, of sorts.
Something that had been sitting in our garage for many years — something that once had seen a lot of use, though not so much lately — is now but a memory.
I’m talking about my late dad’s riding lawn mower.
I wasn’t here when Daddy bought this machine, a smaller-decked red Toro that mulched leaves, cut grass, AND fit through our narrow gate.
Oh, I vaguely remember Daddy telling me about it on the phone, the pride in his voice as he described its features.
And my primary thought was, It’s about time.
Nobody his age needed to be wrestling with a push mower. Or raking leaves.
Fast forward a couple of years to when Domer and I moved back here.
“Little Domer” enjoyed riding the “mo-mo” with his grandpa; I was a willing student on its operation when Daddy was absent.
I learned how to check the levels of oil and gas. How much fluid to add. How to adjust the throttle from Turtle (slow) to Hare (fast).
When Daddy came down with cancer (how I hate that word still!), I became the “lawn girl” until Domer got old enough to help.
I remember donning hat and sunglasses, sunscreen and my MP3, then hopping on board for an hour’s work. The Virgo in me delighted in seeing our shaggy yard become almost a showplace with proper mowing/mulching.
But after Daddy passed in 2008, I only did the yard sporadically. We found a wonderful yard man — reasonable in price, amenable to extra work like planting a bush or cleaning out the gutters. When he retired, we replaced him with another yard man.
So the Toro has just been sitting, gathering dust.
It needed a new battery. And a new seat.
Most of all, it needed meaningful work again.
Domer and I regularly suggested Mom sell it, but she wasn’t ready.
That changed when she reconciled in her mind that parting with the Toro wouldn’t be offensive to Daddy.
She and I wrote out a classified ad, took it to the newspaper, and waited for the phone to ring.
Eventually, the right person came along, forked over the amount we were asking, and hauled it off.
The new owner probably won’t get much use out of it this season, but I imagine that, come Spring, the Toro will once again be happily chugging along.
Daddy would be proud.