Running on Fumes

5 Feb

Living in the woods as we do, our leaf removal problem can be a beast. Years past we would hire a gang of likely teenaged boys from church, and they would spend most of a day here, driving around the property on the lawn tractor, piling leaves into the cart, dumping them, and repeat as necessary. Fuel them up on pizza, and we were all happy. (Nothing pleases an underage fellow more than being able to drive a tractor. It may not be a souped-up car, but it’ll do j-u-u-s-t fine.)

Unfortunately, all those young men are married or moved and The Squire is left to haul his own leaves. A few days ago he posted on FreeCycle that he was in need of a snowplow for the tractor, not to remove snow, but to push leaves.

Last night he got a response from a man not too far away who had one to give, so he hopped into the van and headed off. He called me from there to say the “check engine” light had come on and he was going to swing into the dealership for them to take a look, and then probably take it back on Monday. About ten minutes later he called again, sounding shaky, to say he couldn’t drive the car in “this condition” and please come get him.

The catalytic converter had gone flooey and was spewing unburned gasoline fumes into the passenger compartment. He had opened all the windows, but he was getting dizzy and had to get out once and walk around before he finished the drive. He considered himself lucky to have gotten to the shop alive.

Folding him up and shoe-horning him into the Nissan was a challenge!  He is not that much taller than I am, but he has longer legs and a shorter torso, so his knees were under his chin when he got into my car, and the seat was so low that to hear him tell it he was almost on the floor. He shoved to seat back as far as it would go, and when I got into the passenger side this morning I felt as if I was sitting in the trunk.

I have the feeling this trip to the dealer is going to take a large bite out of our tax refund.


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