Rain and heat prompted the grass on the 10 acres to grow faster than we could get it mowed, which isn’t a problem, as I love my “down” time while cutting it.
I was in my usual lull, listening to the hum of the mower, without a care in the world, when I glanced at the gauges I’d been told to watch. The needle was into the red. I couldn’t remember what he had said. Was it supposed to be in the red, or a little in the red or never to be in the red?
Buzzing back and forth, I nonchalantly waved him over since the needle was now to the end of the red section. The interrogation began.
“How long has it been there?” “How long did it take to get into the red?” “Have you seen any smoke?”
I attempted to justify why it took me so long to notice the mower was overheating, as it’s my time to relax and I just happened to glance at the gauge, when he pointed to the filter, which was stuffed full of enough cottonwood to make a sweater. For the next half hour, I stood with a water hose cooling off the radiator, which I was supposed to occasionally clean off, and had never done. It was high noon, and without the wind blowing through my hair from mowing, I was certain a heat stroke was imminent.
We finally went inside with the anticipation of cooling off, so I positioned myself by the vent with a glass of iced tea and waited for the cool air to give me life again. The air coming out of the vent was anything but cool. I was about to make a snippy remark – perhaps he forgot to clean the filters on the house A/C, when I realized he was making a lot of trips from the thermostat to the unit outside and he didn’t look happy.
The air conditioner joined ranks with the mower.
I suggested we go back outside, and begin another project, as I was in full-body-sweat mode by then. Trying to stay on the bright side he said, “At least we can look forward to getting in the pool later to cool off.”
With the sun setting, we headed for the pool with drinks in hand when suddenly we heard an explosion. The side of the pool blew out and 13,000 gallons of water was rushing into the yard.
As we sat on the steps of the deck looking at the collapsed pool, broken mower and non-functioning air conditioner, I wondered if he had always had that bulging vein on the side of his neck or if he, too, was getting ready to blow.
I told him Dad always said trouble comes in threes, so we must be done.
He thought about it for a minute and asked, “per day?”
Sandy Turner is a mom, grandma, former caretaker and retired journalist living in Missouri.
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