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To paraphrase a great Bruce Springsteen song, "There she sits, buddy. Just a gleamin' in the sun." It's my John Deere riding lawnmower.

I put another few hours on this bad boy yesterday. I was thinking back to when I was first shopping for a rider about 15 years ago. There are apparently several choices when you're trying to figure out which one to buy. There are even different John Deere models with different engines.

Mine has the 17 1/2 horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine. So I got the "good" John Deere and it is completely worth every dollar spent.

Maintenance is one oil change per year. I sharpen the blades a couple of times each season, and the belt that spins the blades needs to be replaced every three or four years.

I've had neighbors who have gone through three or four cheaper riders in the time since I bought mine. And I love to brag about my machine.

You can buy plows for them. They also offer dethatchers, which I wouldn't mind having.

And I have also learned how effective these are if you need some garden hose cut up into several small pieces.

My machine has its own set of shores earmuffs, as many of the females in my life tell me that I don't listen. (Oh, sweetheart, I can hear you. I'm just ignoring you.) But hearing protection is important.

Surprisingly, my mower doesn't have a name. I'll have to work on that.

Other than not having a cooler to store ice and beverages somewhere on it, it's the perfect machine for me.

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