Whatever happened to …

… push lawn mowers?

We have company arriving for the next week so, of course, it was expected that the lawn would be cut.  I do as I’m told so I get the riding mower, my ipod, and headphones on and go for a drive, all the time knocking down the weeds.  (and the grass, it’s been a dry summer)

Cutting the lawn wasn’t all that easy.

As I’m doing my best, my mind wandered back to my grandparent’s place in downtown London.  As you would expect from a place in the core, there wasn’t a great deal of grass so I was the recipient of my dad’s stories about pushing a lawn mower to get the job done.  It wasn’t done with one of those fancy electric or gas powered more; it was powered by kid.

Selection_004.pngI was young at the time and didn’t realize it but we actually had a push mower like that at home.  Dad would use it to cut the lawn.  Later, when I got to be older, that task fell onto me.  Our lawn was considerably bigger than my grandparent’s and so it was actual labour on a hot day.  I couldn’t wait until my brother was older so he could share the burden.

Some folks around the concession corner are having a yard sale this weekend and I happened to notice an old rusty push mower there with a price tag of $5.  With my memories, that’s about $5 more than I would pay for one of those things.  Who would want that these days?

Apparently, some people.  Check out this page from Canadian Tire online.  There are five models to choose from!  And, they’re not called push lawn mowers as I fondly remember them being called – they’re called Reel Lawn Mowers.  Who knew?

For a Sunday, what are your thoughts?

  • Do you happen to own a reel lawn mower?
  • Did you or your family own one at a time and you used it?
  • If you did, I’ll bet there’s a technique for making sure that you’re pushing it downhill when using it.  Care to share?
  • I don’t imagine it’s a thing these days but there was a time when cutting the lawn on a Sunday was forbidden.  Do you remember that?
  • What kind of lawn mower keeps your place nice and neat these days?

As always, I’d enjoy reading your thoughts.  Please share them in the comments below.

This is part of a regular Sunday series.  You can read them all here.

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2 comments

  1. We still call them push lawn mowers around our house. It is what my dad (and my brothers) used at my childhood home/lawn. I think he got a gas or electric one eventually.

    As for my own family, my husband bought a new push mower a few years ago! Yes, surprised me too. We do have a gas one always on hand, but he thought it might be nice to have a “quiet” option as well. He thought our daughters might be more inclined to use it as well, and they did fairly often when they were teenagers without too much resistance…

    Now that it is just the two of us mostly at our house, the gas mower is used more (my husband’s routine…). He just confirmed that the push mower is nicely stored away but still handy.

    I don’t recall the “not on a Sunday” rule, but I think most of our neighbours obey the “not before 10 am” rule. I see plenty of people trying to reduce/replace the amount of lawn/grass they have to deal with, but not sure if that is less work.. weeds have their way for sure!

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  2. I had a reel mower when I lived in Walkerville from 2005 – 2017. My yard was so tiny it didn’t make sense to use a gas or electric push mower. The reel mower was given to me by a colleague who had purchased it, thinking it would be an environmentally friendly way to maintain their family lawn. Their lawn was very large, and after one use, she decided that it was much too labour intensive! I used to joke that I could go outside during a commercial break, get out the lawn mower, mow the lawn and be back inside before the commercials were over.

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