The season of autumn has been one of transitions for Christine and me: new jobs, marriage, moving into a new home. Apparently, the trees around our little house decided all at once they were tired of the changes, and so we were left with a thick layer of leaves all over the property. Knowing there would be some leaves to clear off the lawn, I bought a 18V battery-powered leaf blower a few weeks ago. However as the leaves began to fall and accumulate, I quickly realized I had to call in for backup from my father-in-law.
Actually, it was his backpack – the gas-powered, leaf-blowing variety – that saved the day. I assured Jeff that I had used one of these blowers before, but he still wanted to show me how to get it started. And I’m glad he did, because that was a very persnickety piece of machinery.
Here are the step-by-step instructions he walked me through: With the blower resting on the ground, first lay down the throttle arm as straight as it will go and move the throttle itself to the “running bunny” position. Then, flip the choke switch on the back to the “cold start” position and press the starter/lubricator several times. Finally, pull the crank cord.
For Jeff, the engine turned over on the first pull. He quickly switched the lever on the back to the running position and moved the throttle to the “walking turtle” position. Ready to go! He made it look so easy…
The tutorial went down at his house, and so I would have to start the blower on my own. Luckily, the engine was still warm enough to get it started without any hassle when I got it back to our place. I spent nearly two hours blowing the yard that day, until I ran out of both gas and daylight. I was able to get most of the leaves off of the grass, at least, but left lots of giant piles on the fringes of our property that needed to be blown to the street.
Jeff brought the blower the following week and I was able to finish the job after a few more hours of work on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This time using up a tank and half of fuel, the chore was limited only by the setting sun and a final family meal of the holiday weekend. I was beyond grateful for the respite, although all signs from above suggest that our trees have a few more leaves to shed.