Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gretchen Runs Jenny Over with the Lawnmower

Read or purchase the series at The Gifted Book Series!
When I was growing up, one of my chores was mowing the grass. We had a riding lawnmower and once, after I had finished the yard, my little sister, Kelsea, who was four or five at the time, wanted to take a ride with me. I set her on my lap and let her steer around the yard. Then my two little brothers, Cody and Landon, ages seven and eight, wanted to join in. They jumped on the back, standing where the clipping bags would normally hang and holding on to the back of my chair. We were all having such a fun, irresponsible time zipping around the yard and making hairpin turns (as much as you can on a lawnmower) until I had the bright idea to suddenly stop and throw it in reverse.
We only backed a couple of feet before the lawnmower got stuck. I couldn’t understand what the problem was. I looked down to see if we had hit some sort of hole in the yard and saw Cody lying under the cutter deck!
Thankfully, I had disengaged the blade when I finished cutting the yard, but I didn’t know what damage could still have been done to him under there. I literally threw Kelsea off my lap (another bad move in hindsight) and told Landon to go get Dad. I then knelt down to Cody to see if he could talk to me. He looked up, made eye contact, and though worried, seemed to be doing fairly well. I told him to hang on and I would drive back over him (yeah, again, not the best thing I could have thought of). I jumped back on the mower and tried to drive forward. Nothing. I put it in reverse again. Nothing. I did that a couple of time, back and forth, but he was stuck. I got down and tried lifting the mower off him. That didn’t happen. I guess my twelve-year-old arms just weren’t up to the challenge.
Meanwhile, Landon had run inside and found my dad at the bathroom sink, shaving. “Dad,” Landon whispered, his eyes popping wide and his face as white as a ghost, “Cody got run over by the lawnmower.”
With images of his son being cut in two and resigning himself to the knowledge that Cody would never walk again, but hoping beyond hope that he was still alive, my dad ran outside, screaming, “No!”
He ran into the backyard, heading to where we were, but then tripped coming down our hill. It was an amazing sight. With shaving cream covering half his face and mullet hair flowing in the wind, he never skipped a beat. He just somersaulted down the hill, rolled back to his feet, and kept running. I don’t think he could pull that move off again if he tried.
When he reached us, I assured him that Cody was fine and then pulled Cody out while Dad lifted the mower. Dad carried Cody into the house and, after inspecting him, concluded that he had a few scratches but was otherwise fine. Cody’s sweatshirt had taken the brunt of the mower’s wrath. It was a Pepsi sweatshirt (don’t ask me why Pepsi was making sweatshirts) that showed players on a baseball diamond and the Pepsi logo lining the stadium walls. It was Cody’s favorite shirt at the time. He wore it for days in a row and wouldn’t take it off except for when Dad made him put him in the laundry. Unfortunately, Cody has still never forgiven me for ruining that shirt.
Read or purchase the series at The Gifted Book Series!

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