I can still clearly remember the days when my mind was in peak condition. I never forgot a face, (though I have never been good with names). I could learn a new task or a new responsibility in a snap. Often I would immediately see a better way. I could remember a joke forever, which was not a good thing because, as we all know, a joke never dies. I do believe I had heard every joke known to mankind at one point. No one could tell me one I had not heard. Now, they are all new to me. Sad, really.
As I sail effortlessly toward senility, with those memories of how well my mind once worked, I am sad and a little afraid. Now I have to work hard to learn something new. Forcing my mind to pay attention is exhausting. I am unable to keep track of the million details in my life. Luckily, most of them do not matter, but sometimes a detail becomes an issue - like my brand new lawn tractor.
I have greatly desired a riding lawn mower since I moved to Spirit Creek. Even with the self-propelled walk-behind mower, it normally takes three evenings to mow, not because it is such a vast area, but because it is just such hard work. If the weather did not coincide with my schedule, or if it was too hot for me to mow, the grass could get knee deep. I could still mow, but it would take even longer because I could only mow a swath a few inches wide if I wanted to keep the mower running. It was very difficult, hot work. I did not mind the work so much as I hated worrying over the lawn - can I mow tonight? When will it stop raining? Is it going to be too wet to mow again? Can I get the mower started? Will it still be over 90 degrees by the time I get home from work?
For several seasons, I hired a guy who owns an industrial-sized riding mower but I never knew when he would be here. Sometimes, late in the summer, the lawn was left to grow because it was just too tall - too much work for anyone to do. Every year I hoped anew that I would be able to purchase a lawn tractor so I would not be at the mercy of another person's schedule in addition to all the other variables. It was a burden on several levels.
It was in the banner year of our Lord 2009 when I at last bought a lawn tractor from Sears! It revolutionized my lawn care efforts. Not only can I easily mow grass that is too high because of extended periods of rain and/or laziness, but it is fun to whip around on that miniature yellow and green tractor, singing to myself as I effortlessly mow down the weeds and grass and many of the perennial flowers planted by former tenants. While it hardly constitutes difficult work, it remains hot and sweaty, and I am always covered in dust and flecks of poison ivy and probably chicken poop. Do not get the idea that mowing while sitting on your can is entirely effortless. But riding around while you mow is a lot of fun, even for an old Harley rider like myself.
Now, what was the point I was making? Oh yeah - I have misplaced both sets of keys to my brand new lawn tractor. I have no idea where to even look for them now after tearing through every place I thought I would have put them last fall. Another casualty of my diminishing mental acuity. I am only one step away from not even giving a good goddamn about my brain decline because at this rate, the next step is not even recalling that I own a riding lawn tractor in the first place. That is how it all works out.