One of my first purchases upon finding a house was an inexpensive lawnmower. I shoved it across the grass that surrounded my house in post-doctoral city and then had the movers bring it to my current locale.
I grew weary of my hands numbing from the vibrations, however, and decided to replace the green mower with a self-propelled red one. Since then, said green mower has remained safely housed in my shed.
My mom, always supportive of underdogs, likes to use it when she visits and last weekend was no exception. Brother drug it from the shed, using a nifty duck and cover maneuver to avoid the wasps, filled it with gas and yanked on the starter until it roared to life, belching black smoke of the quality and quantity that a dragon would have certainly been impressed and envious.
"Perhaps we should not use it," I shouted from the deck, but was unheard over the roar and then coughing too hard from the smoke to repeat my suggestion. So I shook my head in affectionate dismay and came inside to tell Dad that Mom was at it again.
"Motor fell off," Brother reported when he walked in from the garage. Mom followed, looking crestfallen. (I rose to hug her in sympathy - it sucks when things get old and fall apart.)
"It vibrated awfully hard," I said gently, still patting my mother and she nodded, agreeing that it was also hard to breathe in the dense fog of smoke. I stifled a giggle but met Brother's eyes and had to laugh. "Perhaps we could give it away," I suggested, not wanting to try to piece it together again only to face the same problem next time.
"Curb alert!" Brother proclaimed, sitting down and reaching for Dad's laptop, tapping away with his index fingers to log in to his account. "What else do you have that you want to give away?"
"Her desk!" Mom decided and I nodded my assent. Upon buying my new couch, furniture got shuffled and my old table became my new desk and my old desk sat on my front porch for a couple days. (Between my failure at yard work and storing furniture outside, my neighbors are probably ready to elect me Princess of Subdivision.)
"Now we wait," Brother declared a bit later, having published his ad and moved the two treasures near the road. Mom, Dad, the girls and I all nodded.
I was spraying around my house for bugs when I alerted my family to the vehicle stopped out front.
"I bet he takes the mower," Brother whispered and I nodded in agreement, hurrying inside to tell Dad that someone was here.
"I bet he takes the mower," Dad said and I grinned when I informed him that Brother had anticipated the same thing. Mom had walked over to chat with him, waving when he left and confiding to us that she almost made him take the desk as well.
I was upstairs with the girls when I heard Brother bounding up the steps. "Someone came for the desk! He's tying it on top of a minivan! With twine! Come see!!"
The girls scampered down and Mom and I followed to peer out the window and wager on how far he could get before the monstrosity of a workspace fell from his roof and splintered into a million pieces. Brother narrated, counting the pieces of twine and number of knots. Dad ambled over to shake his head before returning to his spot on my new couch. The girls giggled and I grinned as I smoothed their hair, all of us leaning to get a better look as the van drove away.
I hadn't really thought about it - one of many silly moments when we laughed - but I was reminded yesterday when I took an unwanted container of peanut brittle to work. My folks forgot to take it home and I don't eat peanut brittle, so I stuck it in my bag and set it by the coffee machine when I went to get hot water for tea.
I needed more tea a bit later so I returned to the machine and gasped when I saw that the peanut brittle was nearly gone. I beamed, glancing around to see if anyone new was coming for crumbs and laughed when I realized that I was a little disappointed I hadn't waited to see who'd taken some and if it seemed to brighten their mornings.
It seems that - for better or worse - I am utterly a product of my family.