In 1973 I quit university and went to live in Edmonton with a man I should not have loved. As it turned out, the situation was not good and I ended up running away from him to Saskatchewan, to my aunt and uncle's place to care for their home while they were in Europe for 2 months. It was good for me, a little city, and I got a job right away so I had some income. My rent was free and there was some food in the freezer I was permitted to have, but generally I purchased my own groceries. It was a good time.
One of my duties was to mow the lawn. My uncle had a small electric lawnmower made by Sunbeam. The handle reversed and instead of turning the entire mower around, I just went the other direction. He was particular about washing the mower with the hose after using it and storing it correctly.
Somewhere in the 1980's, when my children were small, I bought my own Sunbeam electric mower for my little yard in Cloverdale. The mower was well used, but it never failed. I did not take exceptional care of it even, sometimes left it in the rain and mowed 3 foot high grass for my neighbour. She was a woman of a similar age to me, but not in the least outdoorsy or athletic, so they did not mow their lawn. I did a few times, but it was a hay field and that little Sunbeam did not fail. I would put it up on its hind wheels and mow a section in different heights, each time lowering the mower until it was down. It took a long time, but without overtaxing the mower, it managed to mow that lawn.
I used it for years at my place and carted it with me to the next place too, where I continued to use it occasionally, because there was a gas self propelled mower. We lived on welfare for a while and I was the lawn girl in the neighbourhood, earning about 100 dollars a week from doing lawns for people. It was good money and hard work.
I still have that mower, some 30 years later. My John Deer lawn and garden tractor has broken down so many times in the past 5 years that I have owned it. My little Sunbeam just keeps on going. I was waiting for the John Deer to be repaired this year and the lawn was out of hand. I have been harvesting it with a scythe to give to the bunnies and birds. The John Deer would not be able to cut it even if it did run. But that little Sunbeam will. It will take a long time and many passes, and with care and due attention, the lawn will get done. I did the front lawn and north side in my yard today and thought about the good investment I made so long ago that has served me all these years. I think I paid 5 bucks for it at a garage sale, though honestly, I do not recall that. I have looked for another Sunbeam and have always been on the watch in case one surfaced but none has. My friend said he would make a new blade for me, since parts are no longer available. I think that mower will be around after I am not and that is a great thing. Maybe one of my kids will keep it...hmmm.
And what is your best investment of all time?