The Day I Caught the Lawn Mower on Fire


the day i caught the lawn mower on fireLet me tell you about the day I caught the lawn mower on fire… My husband and I are a team. When it comes to yard work, we have gotten into a routine that works for us – both of us working for about 90 minutes can get our yard in tip-top shape, and then we can move on from this seasonal chore.

This Fall, we fell a little behind on the whole yard-work detail. Our 2 acres got a little ahead of us, and then the leaves began to fall. The soccer season that wouldn’t end, the time change that made it dark so much earlier, spending time with our grandsons, and working some extra jobs to make ends meet added to the overwhelming task of keeping the yard tidy.

One night after a quick run into town for haircuts for the boys, my husband and I thought we would hop on the mower and mulch up our leaves and give at least the front yard a quick little haircut before it got too dark to mow. We have huge trees and most of the leaves had fallen in the front, so we raked some and then mulched over the others. We jumped in quickly, so we could get our to-do list done.

I hopped on the riding lawn mower, and he headed to get the rake. We bought the mower earlier this year. Our mower that came as a bonus with the home 13 years ago died the Summer before, so we bought a new one, and it was awesome. We crushed the front yard, and I scooted to the back on our new, shiny riding mower.

I was being Mario Andretti as I mowed the backyard and thought I would take one swipe around a tree before parking the mower in the shed. At top speed, I went around the tree and thought, It’s not pitched black outside yet, so I can go around the yard one more time and then park this baby for the night.

As I went around the tree, I noticed a spark inside the mower and then a full-on flame. I hopped off the mower and began to scream my husband’s name. He was in the garage and did not hear me, so I took off in a full-on RUN. My Fitbit began to smoke, because it had never seen this type of activity from me.

I ran, yelling, “THE MOWER IS ON FIRE!” while running to my water barrel to fill up my watering cans, all will still screaming my husband’s name. I screamed again, “THE MOWER IS ON FIRE!” and that time he heard me. He ran to the hose and started filling up buckets.

The mower was in flames at this point, and I was in tears and exercising all at the same time. We got the fire under control and out before it hit the gas tank. Who knew it was up front? That would explain why my husband was screaming at me not to get too close as it was burning.

I’ve had a few weeks to digest what happened, we’ve purchased the exact same mower, and we’ve buttoned up the yard for the Winter.

The day I caught the mower on fire, my husband looked at me and said, “You are far more important than a mower.”  A few hours later, he thanked me for not parking it in the shed, because it turns out, I could have caught the shed on fire, too.

While I will always remember the day I caught the lawn mower on fire, I will equally never forget how much more important I am to my wonderful husband than any fancy ol’ mower.

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Cheryl Brackemyre
I am a Buckeye by birth, but LOVE Louisville. We have cheered for those Louisville Cardinals for a few years when my stepdaughter played basketball in Louisville and fell in love with the city! I live in Ohio with my husband Tony. Together we have 6 kids, Joe, and his wife Allison, Austin, and his wife Hannah, Sydney and her husband Hayden, Andrew and his wife Lauren and our littles, Max and Eli. Did I mention we are a little nuts starting over with this parenting thing when we are 45+? We are officially a Tiki and Jeep (our version of Grandma and Grandpa) since May of 2022 and have 2 grandsons with a 3rd on the. My husband and I are both ministers, and we get to work together in a local church. We were both married before and brought our families together in 2010. After a few years of marriage, we felt God's leading for us to adopt. We added Max to our family in 2014 and Eli joined us in 2017, our quiver is officially full! Blending our family has been an adventure! Add some ex-spouses and two birth mommas and we have ourselves a crazy crew! Coffee is my love language. The beach is my happy place and I long to have my toes in the sand.


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