When the history of our family is written, this will be recorded as The Year Everything Broke. Possibly the FY everything broke, since last fall we lost the vacuum cleaner and a significant portion of my left index finger.
This weekend, it was the lawn mower. Now, I'm a fix it, don't pitch it, kind of person, but the mower has developed this tic where, when you try to start it, it wrenches the cord pack. Last time it did it to Christie, she had to ice her shoulder for a week. Yesterday, the handle yanked out of my hand and bounced off the other, leaving a nasty bruise. Even so, I was prepared to try and fix it, till Christie pointed out that if we had a self-propelled mower with an electric start, she'd start mowing again.
(Side Note: Christie refers to the Dyson as "the magical vacuum cleaner that makes my husband want to vacuum" and I wanted a mower like that for her. Because I love her.)
Lowe's first, Home Depot second. Lowe's had exactly one mower with an electric start, and it was at the top end of our price range. Home Depot had half a dozen, several of which were cheaper than I expected. And they had a salesman who really knew what he was talking about. With his guidance, we went for a Toro Personal Pace mower, and it's amazing. The throttle on this thing is integrated on the handle, so if you want to go faster, you push harder, and if you want to slow down, just pull back. It's as if Segway made a lawn mower.
I can admit now that part of my reluctance to buy a self-propelled mower was that they've always made me nervous. The last (only) time I used one was one of the early models, and it was hard to control, which I consider a very bad thing for a lawn mower. Not so the Toro. Yeah, it's heavy as hell. But you only notice that if you're trying to muscle it into or out of the car. Or dragging it backwards. I was actually able to push it one-handed up what I like to call "the big fucking hill". I love it.
Also, we got such a deal. They were out of the one we actually wanted, so Dave (our salesman) gave us a free upgrade rather than sell us the floor model, which amounted to about $60 bucks off.
Home Depot has been having its share of problems on the national level, but our local store has really improved in the last couple of years. Their sales staff are knowledgeable and friendly, their selection is great for raw materials and such (finished goods are still an advantage for Lowe's), and they've got a better selection of hardwoods. I'm becoming a convert.