Dale, Take a Bow for the Audience!   Leave a comment

   Last weekend, I was supposed to sit down and write my 50% of the holiday newsletter.  (We celebrate a lot of holidays.  Christmas is the least of them!)  Dale had already written his 50% during his week off between Christmas and New Year’s, but before I had even had a chance to read what he had written, the laptop computer crashed.  With the laptop now fixed, thanks to the cute Geek from Best Buy yesterday, I was finally able to pull up the newsletter and read what my husband had written.  I got a kick of it!  He is a good writer, and he always makes me laugh!  So, Unbeknowst to Dale, he is writing the post tonight, lifted from the as-yet unpublished holiday newsletter.  (I think we’re aiming for Groundhog’s Day now as a release date!)

Without further adieu, a sample of Dale’s writing:

The News From “Up North”

As some of you may recall, our Two Harbors property “came with” a John Deere riding lawnmower.  Actually, the mower had been abandoned with a blown engine – quite literally, since its piston was poking out of a hole in the side of the motor.  Dale, being an engineer type of guy, cannot stand seeing broken machinery lying about.  So, he undertook a recovery and restoration job on the old John Deere.  Before all of the snow was even melted, he hauled the broken down mower back to Maplewood.  It turned out that finding a new engine was not going to be the simple task that he had envisioned.  The mower was no longer being manufactured and parts were no longer available for it.  A sane person would have given up at that point, but an engineer would just see the situation as a bigger challenge.  After extensive research, Dale was able to identify the original manufacturer for the engine and the correct model number.  That led to a bit of shopping on the Internet and an order was placed for a new motor.  While waiting for the new engine to be delivered, he dismantled the rest of the mower, cleaned it up, painted it and put everything back in good working order.  The old John Deere hadn’t looked that good in years.  Then he waited, and waited some more, for the new engine to arrive.  Eventually, the supplier admitted that the engine was out of stock and they were not sure when – or  if – they’d have one available.  Apparently, that model was being discontinued.  This time, Dale wised up (old dogs can learn new tricks) and contacted the manufacturer directly.  He found not only that they had a couple of units in stock locally, but they would gladly sell him one.  A new order was placed and the engine showed up on our door step a week later.  The mower was completed and tried out on the small amount of lawn remaining in front of the house.  By then it was early June .  The mower seemed to work reasonably well during the trial run.

With the sweet smell of success in the air, Dale then hauled the refurbished mower back up to Two Harbors to put it to use.  Of course, the grass and weeds up there resemble virgin prairie, not a suburban lawn.  Those conditions really put the old John Deere to the test.  Unfortunately, it couldn’t cut the mustard – or the heavy weeds.  At one point, it started spewing oil out of the hot exhaust port resulting in a small, but very exciting fire.  The fire was quickly extinguished and Dale reluctantly loaded the mower back into the pick-up for the long ride home.  At this point, he was convinced that the new engine was defective – maybe bad piston rings or something.  The machine got dropped off at a local hardware store certified for doing warranty repairs on engines.

You can imagine Bonnie’s surprise when she took a call for Dale from a place called “Bi-Swingers.”  Actually, it was Beisswenger’s, the hardware store, reporting that there was nothing wrong with the engine – aside from some fool putting too much oil in the crankcase – and would the fool please come and get his mower out of their shop.  So, the old John Deere was back in the garage at Maplewood.

After an unsuccessful attempt to sell the mower, Dale decided to trade it in on something different.  For the John Deere and “only” $450 in cash, Dale became the proud owner of an “Estate Trimmer.”  He describes it as an industrial strength “weed-wacker” on steroids.  Nicknamed “Brutus,” the new machine makes short work of clearing the walking paths on our Knife River property.  That’s about all that we plan to do up there until we can afford to retire and build a home on the land.

With the trail situation finally under control, Dale had time available to begin trying learning the arcane art of fly fishing.  That’s him below, next to a photo of the Knife River.  The third photo is a yet unconfirmed sighting of “Bigfoot” in the north woods outside of Two Harbors.

                                                                            Knife River Morning                       sportsman-july07.jpgBig Foot Sighting

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Posted January 7, 2008 by StPaulieGrrl in Minnesota, Two Harbors, writing

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