|Shock popped out|
I followed breakfast with the (now traditional) bug SUCK-A-THON. This is the joyous part of my country-living morning where I turn on the old shop vac and suck up all the critters that made it in the house since my last cleaning. I don't know how these flipping beetles get in but they are all over the house. The good news is that they are all dead...or at least on their backs about to die. The bad news is that there are usually a dozen or more and I haven't figured out how they're getting in the house. Ten minutes later and the inside of the house is a critter-free zone.
A quick shower and I'm headed out the door to spray down the outside of the house. Uncle J left me a bottle that hooks onto the garden hose and he claims it works wonders. The bottle touts that it kills one hundred types of bugs. Guess we'll see. Out to the barn and back to fetch the garden hose, I am now armed with a watery dose of bug killer.
The backside of the farm house is where the show really happens. Not only does it start off with half a dozen grasshoppers, a handful of black beetles and a good number of spiders all clinging to the back wall...it REALLY picks up when I start hosing the ground where the house foundation meets the earth. Then it's like a critter dash as they all start racing up the back wall of the house.
|Spider # 1,284|
Anyway, I'll post the video I made as I completed this bug suck-a-thon on my YouTube Channel. If you know of any better way to fight these things...by all means, let me know. I'll be adding guinea and chickens at some point so that should help.
As I'm about to hop in the Orange Jeep to head to Walmart for a much anticipated grocery run, I notice something that looks like a shock absorber hanging down from the bottom of my Jeep. I walk around to the drive's side and there it is...my stabilizer shock had lost a locking nut and bolt that attached it to the frame. We are T minus two hours and counting before I have to be at work. "Figures...my only HALF day off..."
I changed into my lay-on-the-ground shirt and mess with the shock for a bit. It has expanded to the point where I can't snug it back up into it's proper location. I had also not unpacked most of my tools yet either. I would need to find an appropriate bolt to reattach the shock and find the right size socket, socket wrench, ball ping hammer, etc. After googling to see where the closest auto parts store is, I was delighted that it was only eight miles away. At the parts store in Arizona that I frequented, they let you borrow tools if you need them. This was certainly the case today. I hoped I would be able to limp the Jeep to the store nice and slow.
Mr Parts Store Owner called around and found that I needed a special bolt...tapered on both ends. He didn't have it, of course, but recommended I go visit Mr Alignment Shop two blocks down the street. I think the whole town is only about six blocks...
Off I go, limping the 'ol Jeep down Main Street, nice and easy. I pull in to the alignment shop and hop out to find a young kid handing tools to an older gentlemen half buried under a car. I popped inside the front of the store to find three town folks relaxing and chatting about local news. I began my good 'ol boy story: Mr Parts Store Owner sent me down here 'cause he doesn't have the right part. Said ya'll might be able to fix me up?" Mrs Alignment Shop announces that we need to find Mr Alignment Shop to answer that question.
|Local attire: boots n shorts|
Now we're back out front where I started. The following Ma and Pa banter begins.
"This boy's here for a shock bolt. Says Mr Parts Store sent him"
"Alright. Just a minute"
He inches out from under the car and waddles over to me. His overalls are as dirty as you would expect a working man's clothes to be and he inquires about my problem. Now, I'm bearing in mind that my two hours of leisure time is slowing slipping away from me. Back in the big city, it would take HOURS to get a car problem fixed. Usually, when I would need to buy new tires or get a brake job, I would plan AT LEAST half my day around the ordeal. I had established a route of mechanics and tire shops that were near shopping centers that I could window shop at or were across the street from an iHop Pancake House where I could sit for hours eating some grub and sipping ice cold fountain Dr. Peppers (with free refills, of course).
But I'm in the country now. Would you believe that Mr Alignment Shop not only had the hard to find bolt (because he saves them every time he changes out an old one) but he shimmied up under my Jeep and had her fixed within fifteen minutes! His 45 years of alignment experience, which he informed me of, also led his keen eye to notice that the steering shock on the other side was about to become unbolted too. In fact, he pulled the "locking nut" off with his bare hands and showed it to me. "Whoever put these on didn't know what they were a doin', " he says.
As he tightened the opposite side, I made small talk and watched him work. It is amazing to me how graceful a man can do his work when he knows his trade well. I mentioned who my cousins were in town that were about his age (Cousin big D and Cousin little D, brothers). Sure enough, he knew them. It is one of THOSE kind of small towns. Everybody knows everybody else. That's when he said something that made me smile.
|Small town street traffic|
Un-be-lievable. Was that a blessing? Am I just over-analyzing this thing? Or is that just how small towns work? Either way, as I pulled away and waved to Mrs Alignment Shop, I had one big stupid grin on my face.
I made it to Walmart, ran back to the farm to change into my work scrubs and got to work on time. There was a time in my life where it seemed like every time I had a small mechanical problem, a hickup in our finances, or any other of a dozen of life's little set backs and they always turned into some big HUGE fiasco. Lately...not so much.
Life is good.
New Farm Rules
18) when doing your cost analysis of how much cheaper it will be to live in the country...don't forget to add in the GALLONS of bug spray you'll be using each week.
Back Home Report
Today on July 11 (7-11), the corner stores named 7-eleven in Arizona gave away FREE Slurpees. Wifey and the girls enjoyed them tremendously.