Here's the Scoop: May 7, 2014

Deere to my heart
Sleep did not come easily last night. If all goes well, I’ll be firing up the lawnmower this evening!
I’ve always heard that many people get excited anticipated Opening Day — I guess I’m among those who can’t wait for the start of Deere Season.
Throughout many years of home ownership, I never own­ed a new riding mower until last year. Because I hadn’t purchased the John Deere until last mowing season was underway, there was no great excitement looking forward to the year’s initial cutting.
Sure, I’ve always gotten special enjoyment from cranking up the mower for the first time each spring, but “It’s Sabre Season” or “It’s Wheel Horse Season” just don’t have the same bang for the buck as Deere Season.

Brand X
In case you’re not familiar with them, Sabre lawn tractors are the generic John Deere brand. Some might say they are cheaper — in more ways than one. Mine was old when it arrived and quirky, to say the least. The same thing with my Wheel Horse, that was memorialized in this column several years ago. The Wheel Horse was like a family heirloom, passed down from my grandfather. It was older than most players on the Yankees and frequently wound up on the disabled list. I loved that thing. Sometimes.
I had no real attachment to the Sabre. It replaced the Wheel Horse, but couldn’t compare. In an earlier life, the Sabre must have been involved in a pretty serious accident, as steering a straight course with the tractor was never easy. Still, it worked. Sometimes. Unless it didn’t. Plus, most of the tires leaked air and needed refilling every time I mowed. Annoying is a good word to describe this situation — in a family paper.

Stepping
The John Deere is a different story. It started every time last year. Plus, the brakes actually stop the vehicle — a luxury I could rarely count on with the other lawn tractors.
The best part, of course, of the season-opening cutting is the smell. Nothing quite compares to the special scent of freshly cut grass. Well, a piping hot pizza with chicken, bacon and Ranch dressing is right up there, but that’s different.
So, I am really looking forward to getting out there and taming the lawn for the first time. This task should have been done a few weeks ago, but daily “spring” temperatures mostly in the 40s have slowed the grass growth — along with my motivation to spend time outdoors.
That’s OK, though. I have a full can of gas and air in the tires. Parts of the lawn are actually looking pretty shaggy, but there should be no problem taming these patches with the semi-new tractor. I don’t mean to fawn over the Deere. I didn’t even spend big dollars for a model with all the bells and whistles. I’m just thrilled that my Opening Day equipment won’t involve an air pump or jumper cables.
— Brian Sweeney