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Hello visitors. On my blog I'm talking about my books, but also about what I'm currently working on and, maybe, some other stuff. Browse through my posts and don't forget to check out my older posts in the archives. If you are interested in my books, please, visit my website Fictitious Tales for more information and a few excerpts. You'll find more excerpts in my old website Herbert's World. Also, take a look at my second blog Herbert Grosshans, where I talk about fun-stuff and things that concern me.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

How I survived cutting my lawn with my new John Deere lawn tractor

Cut my grass today with my new John Deere 21 HP Lawntractor. It’s got a hydrostatic transmission, which means no gears to shift. Just like driving a car, well, almost. The brake is on the left side which takes a little getting used to. I almost decapitated myself when I cut the grass under our plum trees. The branches are really low and I have to duck. Now driving with an automatic transmission is quite easy once you’re used to it. Take your foot off the gas pedal and the tractor slows down or comes to a complete stop.
The reverse works the same way. The first tryout of the tractor went pretty good except I misjudged the speed of the reverse and backed right into my van. Fortunately, only the tires of the van and the tractor touched. No damage done there. Driving forward went also quite well with a few rabbit jumps across the lawn.
Coming back to today. When I came close to the plum tree I wanted to slow down but forgot I was on my new tractor. After driving the old tractor for 18 years operating it was second nature. With my old one I had to shift gears manually and when I wanted to slow down I pushed down the clutch petal on the right side. Well, I did that on my new tractor. Except this was not the clutch but the gas petal. Instead of slowing down the tractor jumped forward. Panicked, I pushed the petal even more which sped up the tractor on a collision course with the tree. But since I’m here to write this post means I managed to stop before my throat was pierced by the thorny branch of the plum tree or before the branch decapitated me. Those were a few heart pounding seconds.
Now I’ve had almost 3 hours practice on the tractor and I’m almost in control of it, but I think it will take a few times of cutting the lawn until working with it will become second nature to me.
Maybe it was the heat that slowed down my quick reflexes and fried my brain a little, because it was hot today. The next few days are supposed to get extremely hot. Good to be inside an air-conditioned home.
Last night we went to the movies. Watched ‘Water for Elephants’. It was quite enjoyable. Reminded me of ‘The Notebook’. Not the same movie of course but in a similar mode…a man remembering his past and a love story.

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