When Fang used to come home covered in grease and dripping oil from every crevice of his clothes, I wondered if he actually wallowed in the stuff at work. Today while I was helping him connect the four-wheel drive shaft under the tractor, I found out just what it takes to get an oil bath—one loose bolt. We were trying to put in this greasy rod thing with six little balls on each end when a bolt suddenly spurted oil out as if it had ruptured an artery. Fang didn’t even bother to crawl out and get out of the oil pool. He called the bolt an interesting word and asked for the towels. One roll of blue towels and some Viva paper towels later, he had the bolt tightened, his face wiped, his ear drained, and basically no longer had to do the back stroke to stay afloat under there.
I could never be a mechanic; it would simply be too expensive to keep all the parts clean and neat—not to mention the wasted oil that would flow from any bolts that actually needed more than hand tight to keep them bolted. Perhaps I will stick to cooking and cleaning and maybe doing a bit outside in the flowerbeds. As it is, my neck is burned from sitting out in the sun on the side of the tractor while I handed things to the real mechanic. Fang put some salve on my neck when I realized it was burned. He rubbed on it as if it were part of the tractor, so now I have two kinds of burn. I feel for the grass underneath the tractor….
A dozen doves have entertained us lately while they ate all the bird seed they could possibly pack away. They don’t sing; they just make noises that can eventually become monotonous. The red-winged blackbirds have them beat any day for joyful noises. But while we were out working on the tractor, I finally found a flock of cedar waxwings in the top of the big elm. They apparently thought that we were pretty entertaining because they spent about three hours talking about us to one another. That had to be what they were doing because there was not a sign of any food exchanges up there over the rooftop. It makes me wonder what birds think about some of the silly things that they see us do. The purple finches, of course, don’t care what we do just as long as we keep filling up the feeder.
We will undoubtedly pray over—or under--the tractor again tomorrow, but if everything keeps going together well, we will have it up and running no later than Saturday. Maybe we won’t have to lease any goats for the back yard after all.