The early morning sun was warm for a January day. I stood looking out the kitchen window in the early morning light wondering how the lawn could have gone all summer without needing mowing but here it is January and I have to mow the lawn. The drought has made so many things seem strange this year. The drought, the fires and winter rains have confused the plants and the animals, it has stressed the economy and all the people in the area.
I did my indoor chores, went to town, and then I began working on the lawn mower. Wracking my brain I tried to remember if I had ever read about gasoline or diesel evaporating. I know that I usually drain it from all my machinery but I remember the lawn mower having about half a tank. I remember thinking that I was going to have to do some work on the tractor because I had left diesel in it. There was not a drop of fuel in either.
I got the battery out of the trunk of the car that I had been saving for the tractor, I put the charger on the lawn mower so that it could charge while I replaced that tractor battery. I sat the battery on the floor board of the Kaboda, lifted the lid and assessed the situation for the tools needed. 7/8ths for the battery tie down, 12 millimeter for the cable ends and the air filter bracket. Bucket of transmission oil, drain pan and a 5 gallon bucket to drain the old diesel, all collected and carried out to the tractor.
I took the battery off and noticed that the battery I had wasn’t gonna fit, it was too big. Plan B in implementation. I went and got the scooter battery that I knew would fit on it. I opened the gas cap so that I could start draining the diesel while I worked but there was nothing in there. I crawled under the tractor to pull the plug and let the transmission oil drain. Put the drain pan under it and continued on with the battery. I noticed that the battery that I took off was a Ford style. The posts are in the front and the positive is on the opposite side as a normal battery. Still it will work, I will turn the battery backwards with the posts to the rear and all will be good. Nope, the negative cable is about an inch too short. So, I think tomorrow we start out at the auto parts store. I dropped the plug in the drip pan full of transmission oil, so I am oily up to my elbow. I get the tractor as far as I can in the warm sun and walk away.
I feel the battery charger should have done its job by this point and I can air up the flat tire and at least get the front yard mowed. Time for a new battery.
I walked back out to the pasture, turned the water tank upside down. The metal tank was warm as I sat on it. Quietly sitting, breathing in the fresh air, and soaking up the warm sunshine. Why does everything have to be a major act of work. Tears streamed down my cheeks, their warm salty wetness falling onto the grungy t-shirt that I was wearing. I cannot seem to stop them. When and where and how did I get to this point in life?
I grew up helping mom and dad. There really wasn’t any set chores for any one of us, I have seen mom work on the car, help dad in the shop, both did wood work, I have seen dad clean the kitchen, cook, and sew. What one of them was good at seemed to be the other’s weakness. Both working together to make it all happen. It seems that I have never found that. And now that everyone is in bad shape physically it seems I never will. Looking back over my life, maybe it was meant for me to end up by myself. I am a tom-boy, I am a girly-girl, I am somewhere from one extreme to the other.
I know that I am tired and need a break but I don’t see it happening without incredible heartbreak. I have watched as dad’s hearing fails, his strength lessens and his thinking isn’t as sharp. I have watched as John weakens, his breathing is worse, the lack of oxygen takes its tole on his mind. I know the past year has not been kind to either and some days I feel as alone as if the worst has happened. Today was one of those days.
No, my life isn’t perfect. I take it one day at a time. I go for long walks, I write at length about mostly nothing important. I take my camera in search of life, of passion, of beauty. I put away my tools, shower, wash my hands repeatedly ( I can’t stand for my hands to be dirty), and I start supper…… tomorrow will dawn a better day. Filled with the blessings and love that everyday is and I will try it all again. Now it is time for sleep……..