Old Red is Not Dead

“Old Red is not dead,” I proclaimed sadly as a reentered the house last week. It is a spring ritual here where the pollen coats the South in a pasty, yellow mist. Along with the budding azaleas and rejuvenated gardenias, the grass makes a clumpy appearance and I have to pull Old Red out of her graveyard under the back porch. Well, it isn’t a graveyard yet, because Old Red is not quite dead.

We’ve had Old Red for what must be sixteen years – well past her serviceable life. When my previous mower died, I saw her chained up outside the store with some other discounted models. Who can pass up a $400 mower for $87? Old Red called out to me in her shackles and I answered. The man said she had been returned because she leaked gas – which made her a perfect complement to my family, so I brought her home. Turns out a little duct tape on a leaky tube and she’s never spewed gas again. Wish I could say the same for my family.

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