Do Not Operate…

When we downsized at the end of last year and moved into a new home, the one thing we failed to reduce was the size of the yard. We, in fact, at least quadrupled the area of lawn I have to maintain. It was quite apparent that my little, lightweight, electric lawn utensils weren’t going to cut it (pun intended).

I knew my tiny, battery-powered lawn mower was grossly inadequate, so I actually gave that to my son-in-law even before the spring thaw. My new one? A red, gas-powered, 22 inch Toro. YES!

Black Max

As for my old trimmer/edger, I thought it would suffice—but no. So, I went out and bought myself another toy. It’s a humdinger (as the old folks used to say). It’s a 25.4cc, two cycle, gas powered, Black Max trimmer/edger (industrial strength, I might add). It has a commercial grade, full crank engine (whatever that is), and it apparently will go from zero to sixty in four seconds. 

I was afraid it might be a tad too much for an old guy like me, but then I noticed the notation that said it had a “padded ergonomic handle,” and I was sold. When I got it home, I also read that it is “attachment capable.” Gadzooks! I think I might invest in a snowplow for the front end.

When I bought it, I began to think of it as another toy for me. We guys like those sorts of playthings hanging in the garage. We’re unlike the women who don’t usually go in for such extravaganzas as the Black Max 18” Straight Shaft String Trimmer as I did. A closet full of shoes is more their speed—not to mention those $15,000 Tory Burch purses (well, maybe I’m exaggerating a tad on that one). We all seem to have our vices.

No Drugs or Alcohol

But back to my Black Max… I read the operator’s manual (yes, I actually read it—we have a lot of kids in our neighborhood and I didn’t want to wipe out one of the little tykes by accident). As I was perusing the do’s and don’ts, I ran across this little tidbit. “Do not operate the unit when you are tired, ill, upset, or under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication.” Well… I may as well hire someone else to run my unit.

At the very least, I’m always upset when I have to do that much yardwork. Also, in my advanced stage of life, being tired is my new reality. I’m pretty sure I can handle the drug and alcohol part, but medication is a necessity these days. I’m just wondering if I need to go to the DMV and apply for a special dispensation to run this thing.

The Lord once told the Israelites, “I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.” (Deuteronomy 11:15) I don’t have cattle, but I do have grass. Thank God for the Black Max. Now I’m satisfied, too.

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]