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Read The Rest Of The Story Before You Read It In Print

Mowing the yard in March proved to be only half the battle.

I was determined not to mow my yard in March. I never have before. However, with May weather in March, and enough nudging by my wife, I finally realized it was inevitable. It also didn't help that my retired neighbor prides himself on being the first one to mow.

You'll read more about my fight against mowing in March in Front Porch in the May issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer. But if you're reading now, you're going to get the rest of the story before you know the full story.

Finally, one evening I said I would mow. We have 60 trees so it took my wife and I a couple hours to get a truckload of sticks picked up. But with the new-fangled time, I was confident I could still get done before dark.

I never thought twice about whether the tractor would start. I took advantage of their winter special. If I wanted to work on lawn mowers, I would be a lawn mower mechanic. I hate working on lawn mowers. So I jump on the tractor. Then I see the key turned to the right. Sure enough the battery was as dead as a door nail. The worst part was I had no one else to blame. I must have hit it with my knee getting off. The building is varmint proof, so I couldn't blame it on a raccoon. One did start an old Oliver 525 combine once and drove it into the fence.

Luckily, I have a charger/starter. But the building is 100 feet from electricity. So I had to run a cord. Naturally, the cord was tangled. A few impatient four-letter words slipped out. Once plugged in the charger slowly charged it up. Then I kicked in the starter function. Finally, it started.

Just one problem- If I got off the seat, it would die, and the charger was still hooked up. So I called Kayla, my daughter. I couldn't hear a word. Sure enough, she showed up and untangled me. Three minutes later I started to mow. It died! This time the charger did zilch.

Two weeks to get it in- I couldn't wait two weeks. Well, the service guy said there's a fuse on the right side under the hood. Just get a 20 amp car fuse. I got fuses at a discount joint. But there wasn't any fuse. "Oh, yeah, on your model, it's on the right side," he said. Thanks, buddy.

I found it, but none of my fuses would fit. So I go to the shop. The parts man scratched his head- it was only a 5-amp fuse. I scratched my head too when I put it in and nothing happened.

This time the service guy went out and checked a mower. "Oh, yeah," he said. "There's a 20-amp fuse behind the battery. So another trip to the dealer, this time for 20-amp fuses. I got three. I took the battery out. It still took 45 minutes to change a $1 fuse, and I lost one to boot. I was pretty skeptical, but I turned the key and wow, it started. I mowed in March, just 24 hours and a few swear words later than I intended too.

So now when you read Front Porch, you will know the story behind the story.

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