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?