Sunday, January 14, 2007

It has been my experience that we never have problems with just one car. Like children, they suffer injury and illness either in tandem or work as a tag team, going down one after another. On Saturday, older and younger son reported that the farm truck sounded funny and there seemed to be something wrapped around the drive shaft. I drove it out of the barnyard mud onto the grass and crawled underneath. Sure enough, somehow about four feet of heavy gauge wire had gotten tangled around the drive shaft. Since the drive shaft's sole purpose in life is to spin, the wire had accompanied the shaft on its revolutionary mission, tightening with each turn until it was tangled and twisted around like a poison ivy vine on an oak tree. I got a pair of pliers and some wire cutters and set to work. And promptly discovered that I needed much bigger wire cutters. Fortunately I had bought a set some while back for work on the fence. Unfortunately I wasn't sure where they were. The curse of the part-time farmer is that everything is done at odd times wedged into the rest of the schedule. This results in tools being used and stashed in places that seemed logical at the time but deeply confusing to your older self some weeks or months later. After a lengthy search they turned up in a rack with the branch loppers and hedge trimmers. I guess that day I was sorting and storing by form rather than function. With the proper tool in hand I was back upside down under the truck out in the pasture. After an hour or so of clipping and twisting, we had a sack of grease covered wire snippets and a drive shaft free to follow its destiny.