I've been wanting an old-fashioned reel mower for years. We had one when we were first married, 28 years ago...our lawn was small and sparse, and we couldn't afford anything else. I only remember that it was beaten and rusty and was a bear to use, but it did the job. I must have found it at a yard sale for a buck or two. When we moved from Indiana to Pennsylvania several years later, it became M.I.A. Lately I'd been hinting big time that I wanted a reel mower for Mother's Day. Dean kept hemming and hawing about it, reminding me how hard the old one was to use, and pointed out that our yard was bumpy, lumpy, uneven and full of roots and weeds, and that it wouldn't work very well, if at all. But I STILL insisted that I wanted one...I felt compelled to get one. I just HAD to have one again!! With the price of gas continuing to rise, how could we NOT justify getting one?
To make a long story short, I got a nice new 16-inch reel mower for Mother's Day. My in-laws were here, and I'm sure they must think they've got the weirdest daughter-in-law ever, because I'm always asking for strange things like weed whackers, spades, and wheel barrows for Mother's Day (and other) gifts. This mower is smooooooth. Works like a charm and slices through the lawn like a hot knife through butter. Our youngest son, Tyler (22 years) had a blast mowing a portion of the yard. I think that was the first time he's ever volunteered to mow!
I love the sound of the reel mower. A nice whirring noise, not the loud roar of a gas engine. Now I can mow without wearing earplugs! And the idea of NOT using any kind of fuel, other than perhaps a bit of body fat is hugely satisfying. My husband is right though, not all parts of our yard will be "mowable" with the reel mower, and for those parts we'll still need to use the gas mower (push) and weed whacker.
I talked to my brother James in Indiana earlier today, and he mentioned that he's got three reel mowers that his family uses for their lawn. He's mennonite (contemplating becoming Amish), so he has lots of reel mower know-how and experience...he stated to make sure the blades are kept sharpened, otherwise they'll be a major chore to use. He gets his sharpened about twice a year.
On another note, Tyler just graduated from Bloomsburg University yesterday with a B.S. degree in Computer Science. He graduated Cum Laude with honors in Math, and he's got a job lined up already with Raytheon Corp. in State College, PA. He starts to work May 27. Our nest is "empty" after all these years, though I hope our boys will always feel welcome to return at any time they want.