By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Column: The Mower


Before moving to Montana six years ago, it had been quite a while since I had a nice yard that I could enjoy. The last place I lived had a nice big patch of dirt in front of the house, which was depressing, and since I didn’t own the home, I didn’t have a say.

I missed sitting outside in a nice space and enjoying a summer evening and that is not near as much fun in dirt.

Once I moved to Montana, I probably overcompensated for wanting a yard and ended up with enough grass to make mowing a full-time job. One of my first purchases in the Treasure State was a mower, and I didn’t mind keeping up with the lawn, and it brought back some memories of when I spent a summer on the mowing crew for the golf course/ballfields in my hometown.

After a few months of a yard that was way too big, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much and was not sad at all when we moved to a smaller house with a much more manageable yard. After I mowed the first few times, the lawnmower decided to stop working, and rather than get it fixed, I hired a service who came in and had done the same at the house I currently live in.


It was a bit expensive, but they did a much better job than I did, and there were no spots that I completely missed when I got a little worn out in the summer sun or started daydreaming about something stupid.

When I moved again in 2019 and thought about getting a mower but ended up having someone come and do it, but when spring rolled around this year, I really could not fit it into my budget. So, it was once again time to get back into the swing of things with mowing, and I decided to purchase a mower.

I had a tight budget for a mower and ended up getting one that is battery powered. I had a friend with one and liked what I saw, so I was able to get one for a very fair price.

I’m not the type of person that gets crazy about climate change and need to have electric instead of gas-powered things, I bought it because it was economical.

After mowing enough lawns for a lifetime for the city, I noticed right away it was not as big or powerful, but once I got the hang of it, it works fine. It just takes a little longer for me to enjoy something outside that doesn’t involve navigating my yard.

A few weeks ago, I had left the mower outside after finishing and didn’t think much of it.

That was until I had returned from taking some pictures at a sporting event and I arrived in a huge rainstorm.

I thought I had left the mower covered under the porch, but not only did I leave it exposed, but I had also rushed to grab the batteries to charge and left the battery door open.

As I arrived home, my electric mower was getting a nice bath.

I was horrified at my stupidity and scared I had ruined it. This is the most “Jack” thing I have done in 2021 and this one will be hard to beat.

After drying the mower and battery terminals for days, I was pretty sure it would not work. I thought in the back of my head I could even maybe get zapped and throw across the lawn like a cornhole bag. Luckily it turned on right away, and the battery still holds a charge big enough to finish my lawn.

The lawnmower is now going straight into my shed when I’m done, and although it takes me a few minutes longer, I’m able to enjoy how beautiful spring in Montana is.


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