Adios, el Toro

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.

18 thoughts on “Adios, el Toro

  1. Okay, this post brought tears to my eyes, Debbie. I think it’s so ironic that you and I posted similar post topics today about our parents, hu?

    But not only that, this post brought back memories for me when my father also bought his first sit-down lawn mower (which I think was a Toro as well), and he would take me for rides around the lawn, while I sat on his lap.

    “but I imagine that, come Spring, the Toro will once again be happily chugging along.

    Daddy would be proud.”

    He sure would!

    “Most of all, it needed meaningful work again.”

    Loved how you said that!

    It’s such a bittersweet experience when we sell or give away things that are connected to our loved ones, isn’t it? I remember giving many of my mothers clothes to women’s shelters after she passed away. It was sad, but it was also such a beautiful experience because I knew that my mother’s things would be put to good use.

    Lovely post, dear lady. Thank you for sharing it.

    (((((((((((((((((( You )))))))))))))))))))

    Have a beautiful week….x

    • We must have been on the same wavelength, Ron — they say great minds do that, ha! Seriously, I wrote and posted this long before I hopped over to read yours about your mother, so it really IS coincidental.

      Good for you, giving away your mom’s things to charity so they could be reused by folks who needed them! We did the same thing with Daddy’s clothing. It was quite hard on my mom, but my sister and I had to be the practical ones.

      You rode on the lawn mower with your dad, too? My son did that often, and he really enjoyed it. Nice to think that he’ll have good memories like yours when he grows older.

      Thanks as always for dropping by!

  2. Every Toro needs useful work! Your dad would be proud that you and your Mom realized this and set it free to mow again. Bonus you immortalized it with a blog post. Good Job! I can somehow picture you riding that Toro–you looked mighty fine! ♥

    • Yea, I’m glad Mom finally agreed to set it free. There’s more room in the garage, of course, and the woman who bought it needed a small one (which is becoming harder and harder to find these days). Odd, isn’t it, how we find the strangest things to blog about!

  3. I laughed and laughed when I saw what your subject matter really is. When I saw “Toro”, all I could think was that you were writing about the mascot of the ill-fated Houston Texans. The way they’ve been playing, it wouldn’t have surprised me to know they decided to barbeque Toro.

    This is much better- and everyone benefits!

    • Glad you got a chuckle from this one, Linda. The poor Texans — I watched part of that game last night, and they started out so impressively. If I were superstitious, I’d say I went to bed too soon (and they should have paid me to keep watching, ha!)

  4. I think this is so sweet, Debbie. I suppose it’s funny what items remain after loved ones pass that conjure up memories. What a good daughter you were to hop on that old Toro and mow the lawn. Maybe my kids will feel that way about my sewing machine some day. I would like to think one of my daughters will keep it and use it and maybe hear me humming as they stitch.

    • Thanks, Barb. My mom has a sewing machine (which she always grumbled about), yet neither my sis nor I sew. I imagine that will be something donated to charity (and Mom would say, Good riddance!). Here’s hoping your daughters can make better use of the one you’ve enjoyed!

  5. We often hang onto things out of sentiment and then mind it a great joy to see others appreciating the object just as much. What sweet memories you must have of watching your father and Domer on it years ago.

    • If circumstances had been different, we probably would have kept the Toro. But I got busy with work, Domer took off for college, and we found wonderful yard help. That put our lawn mower on mothballs too soon — and it sat there too long. I’m glad this woman came along who’d been wanting one just like ours forever!

  6. I know our loved ones aren’t the possessions they leave behind, but when it comes down to parting with something that held so many memories, it isn’t easy to do. I’m glad you were able to find it a loving home so Toro can come out of retirement (well, after a winter of hibernation :))

    • Me, too, Janna. I guess I’m just practical when I say “things” should be used or recycled. Same with clothes. After all, somebody somewhere is probably wishing and hoping for exactly the thing we’re hoarding! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. I think he would be proud. It obviously brought him a lot of joy in using it. He wouldn’t want it sitting there gathering dust. Funny how such simple, everyday things can hold such meaning in our hearts.

    • You’re so right, Terri. And seeing that empty spot where it used to sit kind of reminds me all over again that Daddy is gone. They say time has a way of healing all wounds; they weren’t exactly right on that one! Guess that’s why it’s good to pick out special things peculiar to our loved ones and keep them.

  8. Recycling at its finest! Glad you found new life for the old Toro. Reminds me of my mother’s sewing machine. It’s stored in my garage. I can’t bear to part with it, but I don’t know how to use it. It would be easier to part with had she not loved to sew so much. Sigh. Some day.

    • As I told Barb ^, my mom’s sewing machine just might be the first thing to go when she does, Monica. She hated using it and avoided it like the plague, ha! Of course, neither of us girls learned to sew either, so all it would do is sit and gather dust. Much more practical to “recycle” it!!

  9. Debbie, something tells me that given how much pride your dad felt at getting “El Toro,” he would be pleased as punch to see it come to life again. Imagine how happy he will be to see it busy at work come spring! The thought’s enough to make anyone smile! 🙂

    • You’re so right, Bella. Daddy was so appreciative of that riding mower, especially after walking behind a push mower all those years. And he never truly wanted us girls to have to do yard work. He’d be so glad his mower went to a *woman* who’d been pushing hers for far too long!

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