Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mayhem Part Four: Looking UP!

I'm back again, and it's still May.  My computer is also back from Joel's computer hospital after my disastrous attempt at the upgrade to the new operating system last week.  
Malus 'Coralburst'

The weekend was exhausting, but productive.  The lawn mower being broken down was a disaster for us; we couldn't concentrate on gardening because so much depends on having a lawn mower around here.  On Friday afternoon we went to Green Bay and visited the store we bought the mower from in 2001.  They had no parts on hand for the motor, but were willing to order them for us.

While Carl was explaining what we needed to the parts department, I went and sat on the biggest lawn mower on the showroom floor.  My oh my, that was a nice mower, if we didn't have a septic tank replacement bill looming, it would have been tempting, but I controlled myself.   Unfortunately, it would be at least a week before the parts would arrive. 

From the parts store, we went to Joel and Abby's to drop off my ailing computer.  Dave stopped there later on, too.  I whined about the lawn mower situation and both of the boys looked up different ways to acquire parts.  Dave made a bunch of phone calls, too, but there was no luck.  Stores simply do not stock 20 hp motors, who knew?   Actually, I wasn't surprised, just sad.

Joel took matters into his own hands and was able to locate head gasket parts online.   By 2PM Saturday, the mailman delivered them to our door.  Gotta love the interwebs.

Carl spent Saturday afternoon dismantling and reinstalling the head gasket components in the driveway.  My task was to find specifications for the motor so he'd know how many foot pounds of torque to apply to the bolts and how much to adjust various gaps.  (I'm clueless, but can wrangle an online search for the technical stuff when I need to.)  

I decided to work on planting up my pots in the greenhouse so I'd be nearby in case he needed my 'expertise'. 
Some of the stuff in the greenhouse
Every time I walked by the surgery site I was overwhelmed with all the teensy parts lying around; good grief, I thought to myself, how does he know what all this stuff is and where it goes?  

There is nothing, and I mean Nothing that Carl dislikes more than working on engines.  Flashing back to my childhood, a repair of this magnitude would mean my father's temper would be shorter than his hair, but when it comes to Carl, that's not true, thankfully.  He methodically progressed from one step to the next with breaks in between to look up specifications.  I had no idea how he knew what to do since no manual came with the replacement parts.  

The sun was setting when Carl declared the repair complete.   We stood looking at the mower for a little while and with a 'it's now or never look' and a totally confident, "Do you have a fire extinguisher handy?" he turned the engine over.  

"Va-room!" the engine sprang to life.  Hurrah!  The carburetor needed a touch of adjusting to bring it down to a steady idle, but what a relief; all of Carl's hard work paid off, with any luck, we'll get through another season of mowing.  

I was, as always, supremely impressed (you had to see the parts strewn about earlier in the day to grasp the intensity of this repair) and there weren't any extra screws lying around either.  He truly is mechanically gifted, even though he downplays his talent.

  I was on the mower in an instant and spent the next hour blissfully mowing our neglected yard by the light of a full moon.  The mower has more horsepower and speed now, too.   I didn't want to quit even though it was fully dark, but something was crawling up my pants leg which put a stop to my fun.  Turned out, a June bug was caught in the leg of my jeans and was halfway up the calf of my leg, Ewww!  I know they're harmless, but can I say,  EWWW again? 

 I put the mower in the barn and stood there looking at it for awhile, listening to the sounds an engine makes as it cools down. Thank goodness we've patched it up again. 

I gave Carl a hug and told him I was so proud of him.
"What kind of a man would I be if I couldn't fix an engine?" he said with an, 'Aw shucks, Ma'am, t'weren't no big deal' demeanor.

"You've got to be kidding!  I wouldn't have known where to start," I said.  "How did you know what you're doing?  You're not a mechanic by trade."
"It's logical," he replied.  

Logical?  Yes, I am married to Mr. Spock with a side of Mac Gyver. 

Thank goodness.






Alison said...

I'm impressed with Carl too. There's a little bit of saint in there too. I have horrifying memories of June bugs flying into my hair on warm summer nights. So here's another Eeewwww!

Karen said...

Oh, me too, Alison! I remember having one stuck in my hair when I was little, I was running around in circles crying! Memories, ha!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a great story about Carl and his talents. Congrats to him!

My husband was like that too and I miss him all of the time, especially when things break or need fixing, tweaking, being made, etc.

I know he appreciated your thanks.

Love & hugs to the both of you ~ FlowerLady

Karen said...

Rainey, I know Mark was just like Carl, your world. How my heart aches for you, my dear friend.

Pamela Gordon said...

Karen, I'm catching up toady on your recent posts. I've smiled, laughed out loud and felt concern over all you've been through the past months with your mother, your own health, and all the gardening. I must say you keep a good attitude though it all and have a great sense of humour! Congratulations on the impending arrival of a grandchild. How exciting for you all. Take care and have a wonderful holiday weekend.