Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Delay Gratification

with 2 comments

As our snow cover recedes and the ground becomes visible again, the urge to nurse our landscape back to life grows strong. I want to rake and trim and spruce up the most-viewed spaces as soon as I can. However, my “want to” and “can” don’t line up with the timing of when we should begin imposing our will on the land.

Some insects overwinter beneath the leaf litter on the ground and they don’t all pop out at the first exposure to direct sunshine. I can’t just decide to work on the lawn instead because grass areas should be allowed to thaw completely and begin to turn green before attacking them with a rake.

Then there’s the challenge of “No Mow May.” That’s the campaign to help fight the decline of wildflowers and pollinating insects by waiting until June to mow grassy areas.

I’ll never make it until June without mowing our “lawn” areas. Grass grows way too fast here for that level of intentional neglect. In our favor is the expanse of natural areas where we never mow and the acres of pasture that are only mowed occasionally. My mowing of the comparably small fraction of grass lawn that I do cut won’t shortchange the pollinators in our neighborhood.

This spring my urge to mow is even greater than ever –and if you know me, the urge to mow is very uncharacteristic. Next week I am anticipating the delivery of a new battery-powered zero-turn mower. In the realm of delaying gratification, this purchase was made weeks ago and was subject to availability. I purchased from an online company but discovered their products have started becoming available from retail stores.

When I checked the closest Tractor Supply Company in Prescott, WI, one of the staff scoffed that I’d be lucky to find one. His co-worker jumped on their computer and looked it up to see what their system indicated for availability. To everyone’s surprise, she exclaimed, “There’s one coming into our store on our mid-March delivery!”

Neither of them was aware of any reason they would be receiving delivery of this lawn tractor. I asked if it was already committed to a customer.

It wasn’t.

I couldn’t help having a flashback to last year when I was looking for a specific Trek e-bike and eventually learned there was only one in the country that was my size and it was available in a Minneapolis store.

My goal in choosing to buy the tractor from a retail store was to avoid the substantial shipping fee online. There was just one hitch (pun intended) with that plan. I don’t have a trailer, nor even a trailer hitch on my car to pick up my new toy from Tractor Supply. Ultimately, I was able to order delivery from the company that Tractor Supply contracts with and arrange delivery for next week at a $50 discount from the online delivery fee.

After a few more days of delay, I’m hoping to be appropriately gratified.



2 Responses

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  1. Doesn’t U-Haul rent trailers and temporary hitches anymore? Seems like they used to back many years ago when I had need of one.


    March 29, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    • I don’t know about temporary hitches but they do offer to install a hitch for a fee that approaches the cost of my choice to use Tractor Supply’s vendor.


      March 29, 2023 at 11:55 pm

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