My brother moved from a house to an apartment and has no need for his lawnmower. So he gave it to me last year. It's a 21" gas mower and quite heavy (for me). I used it three or four times last year and then got busy with school. In addition to being busy, I also dreaded mowing the yard. (I mowed the front yard as I could, but left the backyard.) The previous owners of my place didn't like having a sloped backyard and had the yard terraced and they also separated the yard into a big yard and a little yard with a dog run (A chain link fence separates the big yard from the rest). So now I have the main yard (about 70 ft by 75 ft) at one height. Mowing that isn't a problem. But I also have a 80 ft by 6 ft wide strip that is 3.5 ft below the height of the main yard, a 3 ft by 8 ft section nearly 3 feet below below the main yard, an 8 ft by 10 ft section that is also nearly 3 feet below the main yard, but about 10 feet from the other small section, and the little yard the is where my deck is. The little yard, has an overgrown stone path (with large shallow steps) and a bunch of cinder blocks that used to support a hot tub, has lots of little hills and runs beneath the deck. The stairs to the wide strip also are located under the deck. Mowing all the little yards is a pain and requires lifting the lawn mower from terrace to terrace. I have yet to figure out how to mow the little yard. (Last year, all the little sections also had big weed trees in them...they are gone this year! Yippee!)
By the time I got back to the yard after the hiatus last year, the grass was about fourteen inches high. To mow that I was told to tip the mower up and the grass won't kill the mower. This was my brother's second mower - he broke his first one mowing tall grass (but I don't think he tipped it up - when I mentioned that I got a blank look). So I was nervous about breaking his mower. I need not have worried. I wasn't able to start the mower. I had it serviced and they fixed it.
But by then, Sa lent me her family's lawn mower. She had an electric mower. It worked great. All the yards got mowed with out me killing the mower and I was able to move the mower from section to section. (And another plus, it was a no brainer/sprainer to start and stop. So this year, I told my brother that I would continue storing his mower from him, but I was going to buy myself an electric mower. Both my dad and F told me that I was crazy. Neither believe that I didn't kill Sa's mower with my yard last year - they could ask her. They think that with the size of my yard, I should get a gas mower because they are more powerful.
I ignored the two of them and bought the electric mower that I wanted. It works great (yes, I've actually used it already) and there is a lot less dread on mowing the lawn - I can easily maneuver the mower (a safety issue), I can actually start the darn thing, I can lift it easily, and I don't have to store gas.
The yards are in bad shape, but they do look much better cosmetically when they are mowed and green. Now just to figure out how to mow the little yard, clean up the majorly overgrown/damaged fountain and pond (probably not until 2007 or later) and figure out what is weeds and not in the front yard borders (probably most is weed, but hard to get out). Do landscaping fairies exist?