Upfront: Ah, the joy of spring

By Steve Noe

As I went for a Saturday morning jog near my Chicago suburban home, I thought that as outdoor power equipment dealers you must take great pride at this time of year. With April showers giving way to May flowers and everything in full bloom, nearly all of my neighbors have finally come out of hibernation and invested their time and money over the past few weekends into making their yards look better than ever.

The lawns are nicely cut, trimmed, and edged. Many people, my wife and I included, took full advantage of the recent free curbside brush pickup by pruning trees, bushes and other perennials, as well as by edging, weeding, and mulching landscape beds. It’s still too cold at night to plant anything but grass seed and perennials, but it won’t be long before people break out their tillers to plant gardens and annuals. (My retired father-in-law is coming to visit next week and spearhead the gardening efforts.) In other words, the neighborhood is lookin’ good.

And you deserve much of the credit. For behind many of those well-manicured lawns, there are dealers selling and servicing those aerators, dethatchers, mowers, string trimmers, edgers, blowers, vacuums and sweepers. Behind several of those nicely shaped trees, bushes and perennials, there are dealers selling and servicing those chain saws, hedge trimmers or other pruners. And behind many of those gardens, there are dealers selling and servicing sod cutters and tillers.

Instead of using my better judgment by bringing my mower and string trimmer into my local dealer for servicing over the winter, regrettably I procrastinated until April 19 and was told that they would be ready in about two weeks. With my wife surprising me by ordering nine yards of mulch the following day, I spent nearly all of my free time over the next 12 days edging, tilling, and mulching the landscape beds. Meanwhile, I was going stir crazy over the lawn, which was seemingly growing longer by the second and was made to look even longer by my neighbors routinely mowing their lawns.

Two weeks after I dropped off the mower, my dealer made my day as I got “the call” – the one that I eagerly awaited for what seemed like two years. He lived up to his promise by having my mower ready that Saturday, and I raced over to pick it up that same day mere minutes before the dealership closed for the week. It was cold and rainy that day, but I was so ecstatic that I could have kissed the mower. I drove away from the dealership with the mower safely secured in the back of my minivan with the same care that I showed when bringing my first-born child home from the hospital for the very first time. As soon as the rain stopped the following day, I mowed and bagged the lawn like a kid playing with a brand-new toy on Christmas day. With all of the landscape beds edged, tilled, and mulched, and the lawn finally mowed, I was the happiest man in the universe, having reclaimed my yard!

My OPE dealer had brought me the ultimate joy!


OPE Editor Steve Noe


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