Maine Community Bliss in the Form of a New Mower
I was walking Scamp a couple of weeks ago, when I see our neighbor down the street, Pearl Plaisted. She was down there on her knees, planting some annuals around her light post. We start gabbing, of course, catching up.
“Pearl,” I says, “is your yard ever looking sharp! Those rhodies are gorgeous!”
“I know, Ida. They’re taking over!”
“I can’t believe how big they are. I remember when you first put them in. What a nice thing to come home to.”
See, Pearl and her husband Hank are snow birds. They’re usually gone to Florida, November through April, sometimes May, depending. They like to be absolutely certain there isn’t a speck of snow on the ground when they return.
Just then, I see Hank coming ‘round the side of the house riding, I swear, one of the biggest lawn mowers I have ever seen. Big grin on his face.
“Holy cow, Pearl! Did Hank get a new mower?”
“Yes, he did,” she says, looking kind of proud. “He had that old rider mower for years. Said it worked fine. But it was always getting clogged up and breaking down. Took him forever to do the lawn, and he’d be ugly as all get out when he finished. But no, he wasn’t about to spend money on a new one.”
“Well, Pearl, Hank’s been known to be frugal.”
“Frugal? Ida, my husband’s so tight, he squeaks when he walks! You know, at our trailer park in Florida, they got a lawn service, which is great. But Hank wouldn’t dream of hiring someone to do it up here. ‘What’ll people think?’ he says to me.”
“The final straw come last summer. You know that wet patch we got behind the house? Guess who gets stuck in it for the sixtieth time?”
“They never learn.”
“I had to pull him out with the tractor.”
“I did. Pain in the you-know-what. When we get back from Florida, I see him rolling out the old mower. I says to him, ‘Come on, dear, we’re going to Philbricks.’”
“’Philbricks?’ he says. ‘Why we going there?’”
“’I’ve been saving up my money, and I’m going to buy you one of them zero turn mowers.’”
“’This one works fine,’ he says.”
“’Phooey! We’re going to Philbricks, get you a new mower and I don’t want to hear nothing about it. And I’m not giving you the money, neither. I’m payin’ for it myself.’”
“And look at him now,” I says.
“Ida, I can’t get him off the darn thing. He’s so jacked up, he’s mowing the field out back. He’s even offered to do the Gagnons’ next door.”
“Maybe he’d like to do our place!”
Just then, Hank appears from the back yard again, waves and turns on a dime a few times, showin’ off.
Pearl sighs, “Men!”
But you know what? Last Friday morning on my way to work, I’ll be darned if I don’t catch a glimpse of Pearl riding that new mower ‘round the maple tree in their front yard, grinning from ear to ear.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
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