A Cowboy’s Faith: Modern mowers ease workload – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Modern mowers ease workload

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Abundant summer rains have sure made lawns green up and grow along with every kind of weeds sprouting all around.”

While lawn mowers have been busier than ever with operators sometimes complaining, mowing is easier than it used to be.

Old family photos and memories of some relatives in earlier days indicate there wasn’t such a thing as lawns.

When there was lots of foot traffic from home to barnyard green growth became almost nonexistent, just raw soil pathway. A hand sickle or scythe, possibly a heavy corn knife, was used to chop away intruding weeds and the like.

Sometimes planted tame grasses but typically native prairie extended into farm yards with Mother Nature serving as landscaper.

So generations-of-a-century-past typically didn’t maintain yard grass, but wheel-powered, blade-reel-rotating push mowers were prominently used in the 1950s. Memories of a couple such mowers a grocery store carryout boy was forced to walk behind after work aren’t that pleasant.

Not only did it become a tiring task in short order, but the mowers didn’t do a very neat job of cutting the grass. They were always dull and sharpening the blades was an almost impossible duty, especially for a grade-schooler. Plus, although seemingly simple in design, the mowers were mechanical devices and for some reasons were always broke down inoperable.

First power lawn mower remembered was electric with a long extension cord. More than once the young operator ran over and cut the cord bringing aggravated reprimand from Dad.

Finally life got better with a gasoline engine lawn mower. Of course, fuel and oil were required and the pull rope starter didn’t always turn the motor over on the first yank. It was still work pushing and the blade needed frequent sharpening, but major reprieve over previous mowers.

Self-propelled mowers were unheard of yet then, making the 17-inch model easier to push but requiring longer time to mow. Compared to 22-inch mowers, the narrower swath was considerably more convenient mowing steep ranch roadside ditches. Still need for caution not to run over the operator toes.

Riding mowers added enjoyment to lawn care as continually larger areas were regularly groomed. Now no steering wheel, only hand levers, big swath, powerful motors, lawn mowing is a breeze.

Reminded of Isaiah 4:13: “He will bring new things, make work easy.”

030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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