As I went out to mow my grass today, I honestly thought lawn mowing issues were a best-forgotten part of my past. Perhaps that was my downfall. A disaster was looming.

This is an issue that’s been creeping up in little mini-disasters since my grass started growing again this year. The dreaded flat tire.

At first the disasters were ingorable. Sure, every row I mowed was cut higher on one side than the other. But it wasn’tbad, it was just a tiny little thing that no one but me would notice. Over time, that lopsided nature of the rows became less easily ignored, but still I mowed on, week after week. One afternoon while getting my mower out of (yet another) impossible position I’d managed to wedge it into, the Fella pointed to the back left tire. “That’s flat.”

And yes, it was. There was no denying it. I’d managed to convince myself that I was leaning to the left while riding along in the seat because my left side was significantly heavier than my right. Had nothing to do with my completely flat back left tire…. Nothing at all.

But once the Fella is on the case, he is quite persistent. He wouldn’t let me ignore the issue any more. He took my patched together cigarette-lighter charged air pump and checked to see if it was still functioning. It was not. An evening was spent re-patching, trying the cigarette lighters of both our cars, checking the fuse, and finally dumping the old piece of shit. A few days later, he bought me a new tire pump.

That was a little over two weeks ago.  The pump has been in its bag in my bedroom since. I had big plans for today (as I always do on my days off), and first on the list was eliminating the foot-tall yellow flowering weeds that had sprung up in my yard since last I operated my mower. I checked the gasoline, pulled the mower (with exceptional difficulty — flat tires make rolling heavy things difficult) out of the garage and up next to my car, where I’d assembled my tire pump. I was excited to get going on the thing until I took a closer look at the flat tire. Well F-ing A. It was the same tire Dad and I removed ages ago to such disastrous results. And when we’d put the hub cap back on (again, with exceptional difficulty — nothing about this machine is user-friendly) we’d neglected to note that the little air refill nubby thing was NOT poking through the designated hole. Essentially, this amounts to me having to REMOVE the hub cap in order to pump air into the tire.

I cried a little. Don’t think poorly of me, I know this is nothing, under normal circumstances. Removing a hub cap should be an easy business. BUT IT ISN’T. The ‘nut’ or ‘bolt’ or WHATEVER holding the hub cap on is entirely round and perfectly smooth. HOW DOES ONE REMOVE SUCH A THING? It’s about a quarter of an inch wide and butted right up against the cap, which is fairly indented at that point itself. I don’t know how else to describe this except that in the moment I saw this, I had flashes of a memory of Dad struggling to remove it before. It came off somehow after a fair amount of time on his part, but unfortunately, my flashes of memory (mostly blocked because of the misery of the experience) did not include a solution to my current predicament. Sigh.

Fortunately I have my Fella, who said he’d look at it later. Unfortunately, I’m afraid by the next opportunity I have to mow the grass, my weeds will have developed consciousness and started fighting back.

And to top it all off, I just drank a swig of a diet coke that’s been sitting on my bedside table for three days. Blurgh. But it’s been awhile since I’ve had any frustrations to vent in this forum, so cheers to that!

PS, Happy Birthday Mom!! I love you!