The Online Magazine FOR and ABOUT Southside Virginia
"On The Funside"
-= By Amy Hanek =-
As I peeked out my front window to watch my husband mow the lawn, I noticed the grass waving "hello." That's how long it was.
As my husband took up the ugly chore of cutting the grass that hot day, the growl of the mower continued outside my house and categorized in my mind as a background noise. I didn't even seem to notice anymore it as I busied myself with dirty dishes and laundry.
Then it stopped.
So abruptly, I wasn't sure what was wrong. A few seconds later, I realized, my husband must be taking an early break.
Fifteen minutes ticked by. The garage door opened and shut, "Slam."
"Are you ready for lunch?" I asked, checking the time. It was only 11 - we usually ate around noon.
"The mower deck belt is stretched out - we need a new one. Will you check online to see who carries them?"
Thankful for the relief the basement offers during these scorching, hot days, I began my computer search with the lawn mower company. I knew we kept the manual, but where - that's the question.
I carefully typed in the model number and a laundry list of lawn mowers popped up to sort through. Finding our series, I pulled up the PDF of the manual and in it, the part I needed for my husband to finish the simple chore of mowing the grass.
Searching online for deck belts, I was shocked. I couldn't find what I needed anywhere. Now, I won't reveal the name of the two stores I searched through, but one began with an "L" and the other began with an "H" and a "D." I'll let you speculate from there.
Grabbing the part number, we sped to Rocky Mount and began at the "L store." The guy in the lawn and garden section worked very hard at finding either that specific part or a compatible one. He finally found one - online. He could order it for us for the low, low price of about forty-eight dollars. It would take a week or two.
Now, I pictured my clean cut grass lawn growing into a hay field.
We decided to keep looking.
As we exited the "L store," the attendant gave us the number to their competitor, the "HD store." I was surprised. He had the number in his cell phone - on speed dial.
My husband called the "HD store" and talked with least helpful person on the planet. As he began to explain what a deck belt was, he gave up. Saying goodbye, we knew we were going nowhere fast.
Frustration rose with the temperature and we drove on to a little place across the street from our M & W window factory. Waiting for a strong ten minutes before even finding someone to talk to, we quickly found out that this place didn't have anything for our brand of mower.
In a last ditch effort, we found a little place we had heard about from the very helpful guy in the "L store." It was called Coast to Coast. On the drive over, I began venting to my poor, unsuspecting husband.
"We live in a rural community - farms everywhere. Where do people go when their mowers break down? Not all the way to Roanoke or Martinsville." I went on and on and the five minute drive seemed to take a lot longer - especially to my hubby.
Pulling into the parking lot at Coast to Coast, I said a short, silent prayer. Please let this be the place, I don't want to drive any further or wait for delivery.
Silly of me to think that God would make time to grant me this little, insignificant wish - I know.
Opening the door to this final store - our last ditch effort - I thought I heard angels singing. There, on the wall, stretching from floor to ceiling, were all types of deck belts. Hundreds of them.
I almost jumped in the air and cheered out loud. To my husband's relief, I stopped myself in time.
Approaching the checkout counter, I gave the guy the part number we needed and he casually walked to the great wall of deck belts and pulled the one we needed right off a hook in the middle.
Just like that.
I stood, frozen, unable to believe how easy that was.
Five minutes later, my husband and I left this store - our new favorite store - still in shock. We only paid about twenty-eight dollars for what we needed - twenty dollars less than the competitor.
Back in the car, I thanked the heavens above.
Later that day, I finished the chore of mowing the long, wavy grass. The temps still hovered in the high eighties, but I was grateful.
Amy Hanek lives near Smith Mountain Lake with her husband, three kids, and two cats.
An experienced freelance writer, her articles appear in area publications including "Prime Living ". Her column "Just Add Water" runs in the the "Laker Weekly".
Amy is also working on a regional ghost book covering the areas of Lynchburg, Roanoke and Blacksburg. It is expected out by the end of 2009. Schiffer publishing is the publisher.
You can read more of her stories at
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