That Old Chestnut?

I was out doing the morning 40 on the bike Sunday and made a stop at a grove of trees.  In the Spring I’d seen what looked like an orchard on a new leg I started doing after a bridge had closed for repairs.  But as each fruit season passed without seeing anything ripen, I began to wonder.  On Sunday it appeared that where I had once seen green things on the trees, now they were gone.  I leaned the bike against a fence post and rolled under the barbed wire; that’s what that space is for under the lowest strand.  I headed for the closest tree to see if there were any remains of the mysterious harvest, and I came across a bunch of incredibly prickly hulls, most just hulls, but a few with something inside.  I took a stick and popped open one of hulls and mystery solved, chestnuts.  I’ve included a picture here of the find.

You’re all probably thinking, well of course dummy, but this was all new to me.  The bigger nut on the left came out of that hull you see, and the three smaller ones all came out of one pod.  So there would seem to be all possible combinations, which I am going to research tomorrow when I return with a backpack to see how many I can collect.  This so much reminds me that I haven’t changed much since I was  7 or 8 years old. 

We lived  in Waukesha, WI in the 1950’s, and there was a cow pasture at the end of the street; I’m telling you, many adventures took place in that cow pasture and the woods beyond.  But specifically I remember discovering an old hickory tree at the far end of the pasture.  We kids were so amazed that something just out in the pasture could actually yield something edible…and free!  By the way, that pasture is the place where I learned how to roll under the barbed wire.   Anyway, we went home, got nut crackers and sat under that tree cracking nuts until our little fingers hurt…and all that for such a small treat. 

All this goes to show that we can grow old, but we don’t really change that much (at least I haven’t).  And there’s your “old chestnut.”

Well, thanks for reading………………………………….hey, HEY, no tractor news?

Oh, right, I forgot; that’s what this blog is supposed to be about.  Take a look at this picture.  I don’t bother to warn you anymore, because if you have been reading these posts right along you’ve become accustomed to ugly shots like this.  But still, those of you with courage, put your cursor over this photo and click.  Isn’t this just typical of what The Pony has been throwing at us?  For those of you who don’t recognize this, it’s the inside view of the carburetor, and, yes, that orange stuff is 15-20 years of rust build-up.  On top of that, the carburetor floats apparently have leaks, because there’s some gasoline of the same vintage sloshing around inside them.  Here’s a shot of the lovely leaking floats.  Aren’t they cute!  They look like a pair of little squirrel lungs don’t they?    Too bad they’ve got fluid in ’em, just as if they had their own little case of pneumonia.  These discoveries led to a series of emails and phone calls with brother Jim.  The way these work is, I send an email and he sends one back.  Then in rapid succession he sends 3 or 4 more all starting out with something like, “Oh, and don’t forget to…”  This is a classic case of a guy who knows too much.  The problem arrises because he thinks that if he imparts all that information to an engine moron like me, it will somehow do some good.  I finally called him last night for more help, and he said bluntly “send it to me.”  I could sense some frustration, even though in both emails and phone calls he is a man of few words, but still I said, “Are you serious?”  When he confirmed that yes, he would fix it up and send it back, it was another one of those moments (of which there’ve been several) that gave The Pony a new lease on life.  I’m not kidding, I’m watching that Pony Cost-o-Meter, and I can’t just keep throwing money at everything.

You can’t believe how fast I boxed that thing up (yes, including the home-made strawberry jam) and stuck it in the mail.  But on the way home from the PO, the guilt started to set in.  Gene is helping me, Jim is helping me.  There is a great scene in the movie My Cousin Vinny where at the end of the trial Vinnie laments to his girlfriend that he only won the case because he had help on it.  Marissa Tomei’s character does such a great job with the response, but it was to this effect,  Isn’t that just terrible, you win case after case after case, you become famous, you make lots of money and for all of this you have to say THANK YOU.  POOR YOU! 

She’s right, of course, THANKS GUYS.  You’re the greatest!

And thanks to all of you for reading.  Please click here.  (Don’t worry, it’s ok to click it, it’s just a little theme music.)


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