My readers will know that we once had a beaver pond that is now empty of beavers. Someone with the railroad came and trapped them so that if we should have another Isabel, that volume of water won’t wash out the railroad again. Today I was mowing on the shore of the now abandoned and mostly drained beaver pond, and I got the zero-turn stuck.
I didn’t mean to get it stuck; in fact I never intend to get the mower stuck. Not behind the house after 3 days of rain; not down in the bottom, once with the tractor and once with the mower; not under the fence, twice – the second time it was the tractor, and it was so stuck my husband had to unhook the mower deck before we could begin to get it out; not in the ditch in the neighborhood where I slid into the ditch as I mowed and then wallowed there until I went and got my daughter and the other tractor to help pull it out.
I like to look at the activity in the pond often, but I’ve been bitten by a copperhead before, so I like to keep the grass short down there so I can take pictures.
The grass had grown quite long because I hadn’t been down much lately, so I wanted to clean it up a little. I was so focused on mowing the deep grass that I didn’t realize until it was too late that where I was mowing was not the shore any longer, but in fact was the bottom of the pond which had been 6 months ago under 4 feet of water.
You can imagine. I went back up to the shed looking for something to shove under the wheels for traction. The biggest thing I could find was an old crumbly piece of plywood, so I took that back down and it was worse than paper. I went back up and got some boards, but they were minimally helpful. My husband had the Kabota tractor at one of our rental houses, so that wasn’t available to pull it out. The other Ford tractor is so big, I can’t even push in the clutch. A) I have to put all my weight on it standing up, and B) I am too short. Since the hill is bumpy and very steep down to the pond, I didn’t want to risk the tractor getting away from me going down the hill and ending up 5 feet in the mud. The other option I had was to use the only vehicle left, the Lexus GX450.
I considered my options. The Lexus is my husband’s car, and it’s pretty sweet. It has 4-wheel drive. There wasn’t much room at the bottom near the pond to turn around to get in position to tow the mower out of the mud. I might be able to back down to retrieve it. (That last thought was briefly considered, and then the complete ridiculousness of it struck me and I discarded it.) I could leave the mower there until my husband came home at 9:30. Too dark, he wouldn’t be able to get it out and it was supposed to rain. I pictured rising waters carrying the mower away down stream.
I wondered what I would do for a towing strap because the long one was in the backhoe, which was also at the rental house. The Lexus doesn’t have a hitch either, so I wondered how/where I would attach one if I had one. I found a short one, maybe ten feet long, in the back of the car and found a special towing place under the back left bumper. I hopped in and crawled down the curving steep and bumpy path.
When I got to the bottom I realized that the Lexus was bigger than the area in which to turn around. There was a sawn log in front, an overgrown gate to my right, and lots of thick grass to my left, My husband had cut up some trees there, but I had no idea where they were in all that stuff.
I turned the SUV around, but it was not a 3-pt., picture-perfect turnaround. More like inching back and forth in tiny little increments for about 20 times. Finally, I backed up to connect the tow strap. Too short. By about 18 inches.
Again, I considered my options. I could back up another foot and I would have the back wheels on iffy ground. The Lexus has 4-wheel drive. My husband could also find both the mower and the Lexus stuck down there when he came home at 9:30. Or I could leave the mower down there. (Rising waters and all).
I decided to back up closer and try again. I believe in praying about everything, and I desperately wanted to get this out so I wouldn’t have to get my husband to do it for me. I was buoyed by the fact that I had pulled the mower out before, twice. Ok, the most recent time was 4 months ago, but that is beside the point.
I hooked up the tow strap and hopped in the Lexus to try again. I breathed one last little “Help, please?” and slowly accelerated.
Eureka! It came out so easily I had to hop out to make sure It hadn’t come unhooked! Just for good measure, I pulled it out another 5 feet so I’d have plenty of room to turn the mower around.
So, when my husband comes home, I think I’ll just let him read this blog. Then I won’t have to listen to him sniggering at me.
Right now, I remember I have some thanking to do.
“6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Phillippians 4:6