There's an old saying some attribute to Henry Ford. "Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice." Once when you are chopping and once when you burn it.
The same goes for burning corn. Today, before more snow/sleet arrives tomorrow, Bob started hauling corn in five-gallon pails to the house from where it is stored in a wagon in the shed. He brought the filled pails over with the tractor and loader. Luckily, that tractor started. Otherwise, hauling 44 buckets, two buckets at a time, across an icy yard, would have been treacherous.
I helped when Bob brought the buckets up to the house. He carried them two-by-two down the basement steps, while I lugged them over to him in from outside. Of course, he did the majority of the grunt work, but my contribution helped. We had both warmed up by the time we were finished with this chore and soon the corn was warming the house as it burned in the furnace. Now we are ready for whatever weather comes our way.
March has been a mad month for us. Bob had a doctor's appointment, which meant we had to drive into Green Bay. As we turned off Shawano Avenue into St. Mary's Hospital's driveway, we were hit.
I was driving. I never saw the other car. Lucky for us, it wasn't a big accident. No one was hurt. Our car had been 95 percent off the road, so the other guy only clipped our back bumper.
Bob went inside for his appointment while I waited outside with the other driver for the police to arrive. It was a nice day. No snow. No ice, but still cold.
Our car had the most damage, but it wasn't that bad. It's a 2003 Mazda MPV, so has seen a lot of miles. In the end, we didn't have the insurance company bother with a claim on our car — the deductible would have cost us more.
We took the car with its pulled-out bumper to our local mechanics. JJ's understood that we just wanted the bumper put back in place. It didn't have to be perfect. We didn't need to bother with the tail light because it was only chipped and worked perfectly.
They quoted us a price for the repair that was much less than our deductible.
The repair didn't take long at all and we ended up paying less than the original quote. "It sure could have been a lot worse," said Bob. My husband went on and on about how lucky we were. I told him to be quiet, that he was tempting fate.
I was right. When I got back in the car and turned the key a noise started to sound inside the dashboard. Thinking it was just a fluke, I took the car to town. Each time I stopped for an errand I hoped when I started the car up again the noise would stop. (It was a loud buzzing sound.)
Turning the car on and off didn't affect the sound at all, so I went back to talk to the mechanics. Their guess was that something had been jarred loose in the accident. When they looked in the dashboard the following day, they found the problem. The air intake door was jammed open. It seemed some straw and sticks had fallen down in there.
Bob and I laughed when we saw the 'garbage' inside. It almost looked like something had been trying to build a nest. Besides sticks and straw, there were feathers down in there, too — I guess parking near the chickens isn't a good idea.
This really was March madness for us. Taking the junk out of the dashboard and replacing filthy filters cost more than the fender repair, but even putting both repair costs together it was less than our deductible.
Bob and I still laugh about the second repair. I knew he was tempting fate. You just don't brag about things when they are going right. Something is sure to happen.
Well, our car is up and running again, which is nice, but there is a problem. I don't feel much like driving. I keep waiting for another big bang coming out of nowhere.
It will take time to get over this feeling. Our next big trek is to drive to the WPS Farm Show, March 25-27, in Oshkosh. Weather and nerves permitting, Bob and I'll be at the Wisconsin State Farmer Booth (Hanger C 5599). Hope to see you there, safe and sound.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; Sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net; http://www.facebook.com/susan.manzke.