Mowing Memories: A Journey with John Deere

From Speed Racer Lite to Lawn-Mowing Aficionado

Read by Matilda Longbottom


Love the sound of that title? Dive into the story! I have a peculiar love for mowing the lawn; it’s a ritual that shouts responsibility, adulthood, and the ability to handle it all. But it’s more than just a chore—it’s a journey that started at the tender age of 7, seated on a cherished John Deere lawn tractor.

Picture this: a young me, perched in front of two bricks, standing on the clutch and brake, steering through the grassy terrain. No key to kill the motor, just a trusty front bumper made of galvanized pipe. Dad, my co-pilot, walked beside me, guiding my turns and pointing out obstacles with his weed eater in hand.

The routine was set: shoelaces tightly tied, hands gripping the wheel, sparks flying, and off I went, free to be anyone I imagined. A racecar driver on the long strip, a jungle cruise navigator through Granny’s flower beds, and a fearless cliff driver by the ditches. Mowing became a canvas for my creativity—I was a rockstar belting out tunes in the morning and a dirt-covered vagabond when Dad whistled me in. Those were the days.

Mowing, a necessity for some, unwanted by others, and eschewed by a few. Down South, we roll down our windows in June to savor the fragrance of freshly mowed lawns. A lawn-mowing aficionado can even identify the type of grass mown just by the scent.

Fast-forward a few years, and it was inevitable—I needed my own lawnmower. Push-mowing a one-acre lot for two years was time-consuming, and my dreams of a green and yellow savior led me to a 19.5 HP Kohler engine with a 42-inch deck, courtesy of my trusty Sears card.

My lawnmower became more than a grass chopper; it was a friend, complete with its own wipe-down towel, dust broom, and an adorable key chain. When a scrap-metal man offered to haul it away, I couldn’t part with more than 20 years of friendship, so I kept the spare key.

Time is precious, and budgets are tighter, but my new lawn companion and I became inseparable. Together, we spun laps, changed oil, and replaced a tire or two. My Friday afternoons turned into speech preparation sessions as I taped index cards to the steering wheel and spoke to my upcoming audience over the roar of the engine.

No one heard my voice during those mowing sessions, but my heart sang. And as I finished, covered in dirt, I felt like a million bucks. Mowing was more than a chore; it was a symphony of memories, a journey with John Deere.

About the Author: Leah Goyer, a long time fan of lawn care, is a teacher and motivational speaker with an avid passion for travel. Surrounded by farms back at home in a rural community, Leah is self-propelled to keep her grounds green. From home built to zero turn, she shares her journey and a sprinkle of hope to all who appreciate a little dirt.



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