Defeated. My husband's mother emailed me from her Hawaii vacation. My father called to tell me it's really simple and the next time we get the chance he will give me a lesson. Beverly, with her subtle humor, asked if I checked to see if had gas and then she reminded me if I couldn't get the blower started, then a broom will also work to clear off the back porch!
On Friday, when my husband returned home from his business trip he went out back and with two quick jerks he started the blower and cleaned the back porch. (I watched him with both appreciative and jealous eyes.) He then labeled the blower switch "on" and "off" appropriately. Tonight, on the eve of another business trip, we had a how-to-start-the-blower lesson on our back porch, which included a bonus lesson on how a carburetor works and why you need a choke. The lesson could not have been more successful, because I started the blower all by my big self. (Insert applause here.) I am, once again, a champion! Thank you Honey!
Honestly, I could feel my self-esteem improve when I started the blower. As ridiculous as that sounds. It is true.
Last week, in desperation, I was thinking about using a blow drier to get rid of those leaves, but this week I'll be firing up the leaf blower every single night and clearing off the back porch. That leaf blower will not defeat me again. Boo-ya.