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May 3, 2013

On The Rebound: Games rained out, but not yard work

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — When the rain washed out every game this weekend, it left me with a lot of free time. I do not remember a season with more rainouts and snow outs. It is annoying and depressing, not just because it affects my one-dollar-at-a-time retirement plan. Days off also force me to do things I am not mentally equipped to tackle.

What I really needed to do was weed eat the yard after threats from Monte Wilder that he was going to do it if I didn’t. Not wanting him in my yard inspired me.

I opened the doors to the out building, moved the cage full of chickens to the side, and scooted the Christmas tree far enough to squeeze through. I moved my golf clubs to a more accessible spot. I might need those. Then I took the camp chairs off a hook and behind them was the weed eater.

I climbed over a desk and two bicycles to my spare spool of line. There may have been three feet, probably not enough to do the whole yard. We would see how we could stretch it. I took a short cut out between dog food and the fishing rods.

The weed eater started without delay, much to my disappointment.

There are many people worthy of jealousy. I am jealous of the inmates at Laurel County Detention Center. I see them with their fancy weed eaters cutting through grass without pause. I cut for 30 seconds and my line breaks off inside the spool. I have to go back to the building and move the chicken cage to reach around the shelf of fertilizer and weed killer to get the wrench that fits the head of my weed eater. I sat cross-legged in the rain to get the line untangled and threaded back through the spool. Now I have about two feet to work with.

I found it impossible to see through safety glasses in the rain, so my face was pelted with pebbles and covered with grass. By the time I finished the front ditch line, the line broke off inside the spool again. I sat cross-legged in the pouring rain fixing it again. There was less than a foot of line left.

I quickly sheared the back and sides of the house. Like a barber avoiding the ears, I stayed away from landscape rock, concrete blocks, or anything that would threaten my remaining six inches of line. By the time I got to the apple tree, there was about an inch of line remaining. I had to hover over the same spot for minutes to cut the grass. When I finished near the dog house I think I was out of line and was just rubbing the grass flat with the spinning, empty spool.

And this weed eater was an upgrade. The throttle wire on my last weed eater stretched to the point it would no longer work. It was like trying to trim the grass with a lazy Susan. It was easy to fix. I stuck a rock in the throttle so it went from zero to 10,000 rpm in one second. If you weren’t careful it would jerk out of your hand and run wild through the neighborhood.

I bet that never happens to the inmates.

I decided to sell it after a friend borrowed it. I always wore headphones listened to music when I used it. My friend didn’t. He said he could still hear the whining sound in his head weeks later and then he stopped talking to me.

So now my weed eating is done, but it sure looks funny with the grass knee deep in the rest of the yard.

mhoward@sentinel-echo.com

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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