I am so blessed to have great neighbors, great friends! Here I am on the farm, now single, with all this equipment that has been the sole province of my husband for the past forty years. I am playing catch up in knowing how to use and care for it all and, I must say, I am loving it! (See the post from last year, “Power Woman Update” for a look at the beginning of this equipment odyssey). My male neighbors have been such a help to me in learning about tractors and mowers and weed-eaters and such. This week’s lesson included a marvelous product called “fix a flat,” which is aerosol and you just pump it right into your flat lawn mower tire and Voila! the leak in your tire seals right up!
Amazing…all women need to know about these things…
This long Memorial Day weekend was built around rain, which very much impeded my outside ambitions, but I managed to get some work done. I have developed an actual love of riding the lawn mower over our acreage. It is really satisfying work to see the grass coming down to civilized state in rows; such a vivid picture of progress! My son was laughing at me weaving in and out of trees along the edge of our woods—accusing me of having an obsession with getting the weeds down. He’s not far from wrong, but I don’t think it’s really the weeds coming down that has me hooked. I have just enjoyed the thinking time. It is amazing how much thinking one can do while riding a mower!
This weekend also ramped up my lawn skills a notch: I did weed eating for the first time! I must admit that this is not the fun the mower is. Still, it wasn’t bad. And I actually felt like I was getting some upper body exercise, to boot. At least my arms felt like it the next day.
When I finished my home looked so much better! We have been through weeks of rain, and the grass had grown long. Now when you drive up, it is unmistakable that someone actually lives here. Now, mind you, it’s also clear that this is not the Martha Stewart abode, but at least it looks lived-in. I'm including a snapshot which we will consider the "before" picture...just wait, we're transforming!
But the piece de resistance for me on this lawn equipment weekend was a trip to the auto parts store; yet another foray into uncharted territory for this newly-single woman! Here’s the scoop (and the part where my great neighbors come in…): I share my tractor with my over-the-hill neighbor (that’s over-the-hill location-wise, not age-wise!).
This weekend he came to get it and discovered that some hydraulic hoses were leaking. (Who knew?). He pulled the defective parts off and told me how to go to the auto parts store to get them replaced and then promptly invited me to join him and his wife for a holiday weekend feast, so off I went.
My friends’ grown son was visiting from out of state and some of their other family was at dinner—all good friends of mine, too. The food and fellowship was great, and the wine flowed freely. I began to wax eloquently on my lawn accomplishments for the day and moved right along to discussing my tractor—the apex of my equipment inventory. It’s beginning to feel good to be able to discuss the tractor, etc., etc., etc. I think I got puffy and carried away in some of my new-found equipment confidence:
“Yep, those hydraulic hoses need replacing,” I intoned to my fellow diners. “I’m goin’ to NASA tomorrow to get ‘em replaced so your daddy, here, can get that gravel moved.”
The male contingent at the table went quiet, quizzical looks on their faces. After a brief conversational pause, my friends’ son spoke up, “C, I imagine that NASA does, indeed, have hydraulic hoses, but I doubt that’s where you’re going. I bet you mean that you are going to NAPA, which stands for National Automotive Parts Association…”
Well, nothing like being taken down a notch or two, and I’m sure I blushed at my blunder; but it was a good laugh. He was right; NAPA was where I headed the next day, and they replaced my hydraulic hoses in ten minutes’ time. I spent that waiting time looking at all the automotive merchandise in their showroom. Amazing! There sure must be people out there who spend lots of time cleaning their cars and duding them up.
My neighbors are so good to help me out. They know that—as I’ve said before—males have inborn knowledge of motors and equipment that we females have to actually learn. Here, in my fifth decade of life, I’m just wading into it, and these guys are patient with my blunders. Like all learning, this has been fun. I have enjoyed finding out about stabilizer for my lawn mower and two-stroke oil(although I’m still not sure what that two-stroke reference is--note to self: consult wikipedia for two-stroke...).
The work gives me a good sleep, tired from the activity and serenely secure in knowing that my hydraulic hoses are in good shape…
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