Christ is risen -- do not attempt to buy a lawn mower
Many years ago, the Mrs. and I purchased a house down in the Buckman neighborhood of Portland. The man we bought it from had landscaped it to perfection, and this was the first garden that the two of us would take care of together. The house, which was on a corner lot, sat up about a full story from street level, and the front and side yards sloped steeply down to the sidewalk. Most of the ground was covered with lovely grass.
We closed on the house in late January, at which time the lawn was short and neat. But as spring arrived, it began to grow -- rapidly -- and not only was I too busy with other new-house chores, but I also didn't have a mower to cut it with.
Easter fell in early April that year, and by that time the jungle outside had grown so dense that it cried out for attention. Being that I was a hopelessly lapsed Catholic at that point, and there were no children around, Easter didn't mean much to us. It was just another Sunday, and the weather was decent enough that it presented an opportunity to get hacking on that knee-high grass. I figured that it was an ideal day to run out and buy a lawn mower. The stores would be relatively empty, since all of the Western Christians would be busy with their ham or lamb or roast whatever all afternoon long. And so off we set.
I was looking for a push mower, for a number of reasons. I liked the idea of not burning gasoline to do yard work. I also enjoyed getting a bit of a workout while I was sprucing up the grounds. Most importantly, that steep slope on which the grass was growing looked downright treacherous. I surmised (quite correctly, as it turned out) that sooner or later I would fall on my butt while cutting that lawn. And if I wound up being run over by my own mower, I predicted that a manual model would do a lot less damage to my body than one with a running motor driving the whirring blades.
I don't know what I was thinking, but as we pulled up in front of one closed hardware store after another, I was starkly reminded that Easter is not just another Sunday. People take the day off. Stores close. As I recall, we couldn't even get a mower at the Fred Meyer store, which I had originally been trying to avoid. Either the garden section wasn't open because of the holiday, or they didn't have a decent push mower, I forget which.
And so after a couple of hours of hunting around, I was mower-less. It was clear that I would have to delay my purchase by at least a day. We returned home to our embarrassing grass, and I sat and sulked about it. Christmas has its Scrooge and Grinch; that day, Easter had me. "What about Jewish people?" I complained, bitterly. "They have grass."
It's more than a decade later now. We're in a different house, with no big slope. We take the kids to church on Easter. We hire a guy to cut the grass.
But some things don't change. I wouldn't be surprised if you still can't buy a lawn mower on Easter. My advice is, don't try.