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Stubborn to the Core

I have a t-shirt that says “Never give up.”

It’s a motto that has defined much of my life . . . in big things and little things.

Take the case of my lawn mower.

After nursing a hurt back for almost two weeks and not getting a whole lot done (besides TV watching, gentle working out, and knitting), I decided to scoop dog poop (such a gross reality of my life, y’all), fire up the lawn mower, and take care of the back yard.  We use our riding mower for the front.

It was not the smartest decisions on many levels.

I got the mower started up on the first try.

Go me.

After cutting the grass on the side of my house, where the riding mower doesn’t fit very well, I headed to the back yard.  I made one trip around the perimeter of the yard and headed down the back of the house, along the bricked side.

Then, the mower got caught and completely shut off.  When I looked down, I realized that the starter cord, which is a little long, had wrapped itself around my outdoor faucet.  Because I had not noticed but had kept pushing the mower, the starter cord got pulled, shutting off the engine.

That’s when the trouble began.

Despite my best efforts, I could not get the mower to start up again.

I cranked it several times, checking the cord every now and then.


I primed the engine and cranked it again.

Nothing.  The engine didn’t even turn over.


I walked to the garage and got out my tools – a flat ended screwdriver and a set of pliers.  I knew what was wrong.  The starter line had gotten loosened up.  It needed tightening.

Y’all, that is a task easier said than done.  Just removing the line from the mower is a huge pain because you have to squeeze the black part, which has prongs that stick out, to push it through the metal piece that serves much like a sewing machine threader.

I pushed the cord up and tightened it.

I thought.

Then, I put everything back together and expected the machine to start.

It didn’t.

I tried a few more times before giving up.

Yes.  I was so mad that I gave up.

I rolled the mower to the driveway and decided to try to crank it again, on more level ground.  This time, I heard the engine turn over, so I tried and tried and tried.  It never cranked fully though.

Dirty word alert:  I was pissed.

And I’d managed to mess up two fingers.  I had a blister near the thumb joint on my left hand and had lifted the corner of the nail on my middle finger on my right hand during one of my attempts to crank the engine.  It bled like nobody’s business.

I rolled the mower into the garage, sweating something fierce and angry as all get out.

I was also sporting two band aids.

The Mr. came home for lunch shortly after I stomped into the kitchen, and I immediately told him my sob story and begged him to start the mower.

All before he’d had a chance to eat.

He couldn’t get the job done either and began complaining about having to buy a new mower – about not putting more money into this one (we’d spent a small fortune last summer getting it fixed up).


He went inside to eat, and y’all, I just could not let it go.

Remember my t-shirt saying?

I need another shirt that says “Stubborn to the core” because that’s what I am.

I was determined not to let that mower beat me for good.  After a quick google search (I even had to google what the starter cord was called), I found a tidbit that made me think.

Tools in hand, I went back to the garage, took apart the starter line, shortened the gap between the end, which has a hook, and this black thing (which I’d forgotten screws on – thank you, Google), and then hooked everything back up.

Then, I said a prayer and tried to crank the engine.

It worked!

The first time.

I went back inside triumphantly and told the Mr. about my victory, informing him how fortunate he is to have a talented wife like me.


Of course, it had started raining, so I couldn’t finish mowing that day, but I did get back to the task at hand the next day.

Word to the wise, be it a human or a machine:  Never underestimate me.

2 Responses

  1. You just amaze me with your drive to fix things. I’m like, Its broken? Just give me a new one 🙂 haha

  2. I’m impressed!

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