Jason Deal

We have a super, duper way to mow the grass now. My brother bought a Zero-Turn John Deere® lawn mower.

My daddy worked for John Deere for 33 years, so you know there really is no other kind. Everyone knows “nothing runs like a Deere.”

The Zero Turn is the Cadillac of lawn mowers. I wish we had gotten one long ago.

Between my yard and my parent’s yard we probably mow around three acres of grass.

It would take us up to six hours to mow the yards in years past with the 48-inch riding lawn mower we had.

Other than some pine trees and shrubs, my yard has lots of wide open spaces. My parents’ yard, however, is full of pine trees and flowers of all makes and models. The house once belonged to my grandparents, who obviously enjoyed growing things.

Now, even with the maneuvering, zigging and zagging, we can get the job done in about three hours with the 60-inch cutting deck on the new mower.

Figuring out how to drive the thing was the biggest challenge.

Instead of a steering wheel, the new mower has what can be described as handlebars.

I was clueless.

It has seemed with the pandemic that everything has been upside down in the world for the past couple of years.

That’s sort of the way it was with the mower. Left is right, right is left, up is down and down is up.

And the speed is much faster than the old one. Learning to pull back on the handles or letting go of them instead of pressing the brake, was a new trick I had to learn.

It didn’t come without a few mishaps. I got a little too close the canvas at the shop and the mower chewed up part of that. I got caught in a crepe myrtle bush at my house and had to figure out how to break free. And, I also collided with the concrete FFA mailbox, which was jarring. Both the mailbox and mower took that and kept right on going. Well, the mailbox is still standing, but you know what I mean. It does lean a little to the right, however.

Mowing is an easy way to take care of your troubles by running over them and grinding them up and watching them fly out of the chute and scatter to the wind as little jibbled up grass blades.

For years, I was exiled from the task by a longtime battle with sinus troubles. Perhaps my time away from the task is what has caused me to almost go slap dab crazy over the last few years.

No more.

Thanks to the magic of sinus surgery, I have managed to mow grass again.

The crush of weekly deadlines and the hum drum of running 90 to nothing down life’s highway leaves little down time anymore.

But, occasionally, I climb on the Zero Turn Lawn Mower and get in some mowing therapy.

I imagined all my problems and mowed them all up as if they were just blades of grass.

Things were rocking along just fine and I was making good time. Yeah, perhaps I was speeding, if there is such a thing while on a lawn mower.

I’da been just fine if the mailbox hadn’t jumped out in front of me.

• Jason Deal is a staff writer for The Blackshear Times. Reach him at jdeal@blacksheartimes.news.