Monday, 10 April 2017

Tires or Testicles (Part I)

Ain't that the truth.
 Tires
The day before I left on a road trip to farmsit for a friend several states away, I asked my garage if they'd listen to an abnormal noise my car was making.  I expected that I was being overly cautious, that they'd tell me it was nothing.

Well, "nothing" turned out to be a dying water pump that would have left me stranded roadside, undoubtedly halfway between Shartersville and Outer Bumfuck.  With no loaner car available, I was stuck waiting for 4 hours and left $400 poorer.  But at least my 26-year-old car was content with its new water pump and made the long trip stoically.

On Friday, for the first time, I made the 500 mile round trip to see Silas in one day.  My friend who boards him for me is willing to let me spend the night but I don't like to put her out and I can't afford to take that much time every visit.  I used to have a friend who lived about halfway but she moved in November.  I also used to be able to stay with City Boy's relatives.  So, it's now harder to see my baby.  This was an experiment to see if I could handle the drive in one day.

Saturday was shearing day at the farm where I have a sheep share.  I'm not that fussed about seeing the shearing itself, to be honest, although I do like examining the fleeces and learning about quality and variations in the wool.  But mainly it's an excuse to see the lambs.  However cute and cuddly you imagine newborn lambs to be, I assure you they are cuter and cuddlier.  They are also some of the gentlest, happiest, and most carefree little creatures on earth.  Watching them leap and gambol and rest in the sun is soothing to my chronically anxious soul.  They are peacefulness personified.  Also, after the shearing is done, everyone celebrates maple syrup season with lunch at a local sugaring house's restaurant.  (I skipped lunch and went straight for the maple ice cream.)
Baah, baah, fat sheep.  This sheep hasn't been missing any meals.
Baah, baah, black—yes, dammit, we'll have plenty of wool.
Finding the sunny spot. 
The sheep farm isn't that long a journey from my house—up the Interstate, across a state highway, and along some country lanes.  But it's about 60 miles round trip, a significant enough distance.  So, I was amazed at my luck:  When the exhaust system fell out of the car, it happened as I turned onto my own street.  It was only attached by the gasket at the tailpipe but I was able to get down the block and into my driveway with it dragging on the ground and making an obnoxious racket.

I'd had it spot-welded a few times as the salted winter roads had taken rusty nibbles here and there, and I could hear that it was getting louder.  I knew it would reach the point where it had to be replaced soon but I was hoping to make it at least through next winter.

Car is obviously not driveable so I will have to get it towed to the garage, when I can afford the repair.

The silver lining (or perhaps aluminium, under all that rust) is that by some stroke of luck, despite all these road trips, it somehow broke down within sight of my house.  What are the odds?  Also, I had a ticket to the monthly burlesque show for Saturday night.  I was leery of biking such a long distance in the dark and the cold but I was able to persuade an acquaintance to go.  I'd been trying to get her to come to the burlesque since last summer and she loved it.  So, I got a ride and she finally popped her burlesque cherry and can't wait to do it again.

Next instalment: Testicles.

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