Long ago, in the time of the Great Recession, I wrote the following sonnet as an ode to this simple joy.
How Do I Love Thee, Manual Mower?
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most emission-free trim, by sun and moonlight.
I love thee freely, especially when my men for their turn Fight;
I love thee purely, as they turn after each Row.
I love with a passion put to use
On my organic grass, while my muscles grow.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my old gas guzzler, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, sweat, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after my HUSBAND AND ROOMMATE AND I ARE THE MOST FIT, STRONG, HOT, AND HEALTHY PEOPLE IN THIS WHOLE RIDER-MOWER-LOVIN' TOWNSHIP!
Fer realz. I love that my manual mower is clean, green, and fueled by human-power, leaving the air cleaner, our muscles stronger, and our wallets fuller than if we used a gas burner. It's also not loud and obnoxious. While mowing, we can enjoy birdsong and the scent of fresh-cut grass without the fumes.
The new manual mowers (like ours) are very lightweight and require little or no maintenance. No blade sharpening is required. Also, they are safer than gas or electric mowers.
My cyclist husband wrapped the handle in bar tape for a strong, cushioned grip.
I like to do three or four rows of lawn in five-minute cardio bursts between strength training exercises. To get a better workout, I put on cross-country cleats and run instead of walking.
Happy, happy mowing!