As I was growing up and facing the many problems that I seemed to face, my Daddy always had a saying. He simply said, “We’ll figure it out.” Some of the problems and challenges I came up against seem so trivial now, but you know how kids can be about what they think is important.
Now, I find myself saying the same thing to my children and more importantly to myself that Daddy used to say. “I can figure this out.”
We’ve had a lot of rain and grass likes rain. Therefore, it was not a good time for my lawnmower to go kaput. These days, many folks would just go buy a new one and maybe I should have. However, I have (or thought I had) this great small engine repair fellow who came to the house and fixed my lawnmower, blower and other things that need a small engine.
He answered the phone promptly as he always does. However, he informed me that he had to get out of the business because, “There wasn’t enough business for it to be a full-time job and he didn’t have enough time to make a go at it as a part-time business.” I was disappointed, but understood his dilemma.
My former fixit fellow told me to try the hardware store where I like to hang out, eat popcorn and admire their grills and grilling accessories. I called them and they said they would be happy to diagnose my problem, but they were so backed up that it would probably be three weeks.
My grass couldn’t wait that long and looking at my pretty orange lawnmower, I just couldn’t quit on her.
So on Independence Day, when folks were firing up their grills, boats and party motors, I decided to try to figure out my lawnmower problems. Starting with the manual, I progressed to a fixit fellow who had posted some of his many successful endeavors online for folks to envy. He sure seemed to know what he was talking about.
My lawnmower started, smoked a little and went kaput. Fortunately, this fixit fellow had the same issue with a lawnmower and made a video of himself fixing it. Lawnmower Fixing Videos are not necessarily my idea of high entertainment, but I watched it three times and made notes on everything he was taking apart, cleaning, replacing and putting back together.
I gave it my best shot and put it all back together.
My mower started, ran, then smoked a lot more than what it had been smoking before I attempted to fix it. In the midst of the smoke and my coughing, I think I heard my Daddy say, “We’ll figure it out.”
So I took things apart again, cleaned them again and went through all the steps. Honestly, I think I put too much oil in it when I changed the oil on my first try. Not knowing for sure, I just redid it all for the sake of doing it.
I pushed my orange lawnmower into the front yard to let her see how high the grass was and so that folks could feel sorry for me as they drove by pulling their boats and jet skis. I pulled the cord and my lawnmower coughed and cussed like she was saying, “You really ought to be grilling hamburgers you fool.”
After another pull, she started up. Not so smooth at the start, but she kept going. I wrapped by belt around the lever that is supposed to keep you from cutting your foot off. You know if you release it, the mower stops. I didn’t want it to stop, so I took my belt off and wrapped it around the lever and the handle.
Then I sat down on my front steps and watched it run. Five minutes, ten minutes, and still running after fifteen minutes. At first, I was just hoping that it would keep running, then I started reveling in being able to get my lawnmower running again.
I cut my grass. It was a good day.
I even had time to grill hamburgers and hot dogs later in the afternoon. Now, those charcoal bags with the opening sewn shut by a seamstress who normally sews parachutes or something else that never needs to be torn apart. If you do it “correctly,” when you pull the right thread, the whole bag just unstitches perfectly.
I may have done that once in my life. This wasn’t a day that I wanted to figure it out again, so I just took a knife and jabbed it into the bag of charcoal. I wish that fixit fellow would make a video on opening charcoal. Maybe I could watch it on Labor Day.
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