Q: What does one do the Sunday between football play-offs and the Super Bowl?
A: The things that didn’t get done while lolling on the sofa quaffing beers every Sunday since August.
One could watch TV–there’s a Barry Manilow themed ice-skating show on. That’ll get a man outside doing manly things quicker than you can say, well, Barry Manilow. It’s bad enough getting sucked into Downton Abbey, but ice-skating? One has to draw the line somewhere. And this is why Maywood Man is outside with his vintage Maywood equipment doing Maywood tasks.
It’s good timing for a by-week from football. Last week, just as the arctic chill sent Maryland temperatures into the teens, the furnace conked out. The new furnace is being installed tomorrow, as the temperatures begin to climb this week toward the 50’s. It hasn’t been too painful, though. Like NASA, we have engineered redundancy around here. We have two furnaces. Bedroom doors stayed open while the downstairs furnace worked to heat the whole house. The wood stove supplemented the downstairs furnace. At night, we shut bedroom doors and kept quite comfortably warm with space heaters.
But we are now out of firewood. Well, not out of wood. We’re just out of pre-cut pieces ready to toss in the wood-stove. This afternoon, I type to the soothing buzz of the chain-saw in the “lumber yard.” Tonight, I look forward to watching Downton Abbey in real time by a roaring fire. Maywood Man will probably fall asleep from this afternoon’s exertions. Maybe–just to get a rise out of him– I’ll jump up periodically and scream, “Come on, Flacco!” like our toddler grandson John.
Big John would have cut firewood yesterday, but he was wrapped up with tractor repairs. Well, of course. Or as the French say, Mais oui. Murphy’s Law #342: The furnace will conk out when the temperature nose dives into the teens. Murphy’s Law #572: The tractor will break down if it snows.
Not a lot. I got a two-hour school delay for snow on Thursday. Friday I got a two-hour early dismissal. Mere dustings…just enough to cause massive traffic delays around the Baltimore-D.C area. Just enough to tell the tractor to break down.
What this time? Points and capacitor. Don’t ask me what that is; I thought it was related to spark plugs. According to John, they work together to provide spark to the spark plugs. (I knew the spark plugs were connected somehow. I’m learning bee-lingo; I have not mastered tractor mechanics.) I suggested that he call before heading up to Shrewsbury–to avoid Murphy’s Law #690: If you drive to Shrewsbury, they won’t have the part you need. Ah, sure enough, he ended up driving to Hanover to get the part he needed. While in Hanover, he looked at hydraulic fluid and thought, “Nah, I’ve got enough.”
Murphy’s Law # 691: If you think you have enough hydraulic fluid at home, you will discover that you do not.
This is where I find myself not believing that I’m actually saying what I’m saying:
“Dear, maybe we should just always keep a supply of hydraulic fluid on hand.”
Today, before bonding with his chain saw, Maywood Man took a ride to Shewsbury for hydraulic fluid. The tractor is now ready to go. Tomorrow the furnace will be purring and the firewood will be stacked high on the porch.
Dare I predict balmy weather in Baltimore for the Super Bowl? I’m not going to get cocky. A quick check at weather tells me that the furnace could be delayed by ice tomorrow.
Murphy’s Law #343: Ice storms will hit the day you schedule a furnace installation.
Now I have a real dilemma. Do I wish for a day off school due to weather? Or do I wish for clear weather and a furnace?