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One of THOSE weekends

No sex or food for that matter Friday night. Instead, as I was trying to leave for the farm, we engaged in a nice LONG and sometimes LOUD discussion. Not really a fight so much. It was just one of THOSE discussions that every couple has to have once in a while if the relationship is to remain on even keel. It seemed to go on forever. Talking about how much we love each other but also about how certain areas of the relationship had stagnated and we'd fallen into comfortable but ultimately destructive patterns of taking one another for granted. Things like that will happen if you don't work at it. So the end result was I didn't leave Friday night as I usually do. Deb was going to stay home with the cat anyway. He still has a few days of antibiotics left and we don't trust her mom to give them. It practically takes two of us to give them anyway.



So we went to bed and snuggled, happy to have worked some things out.

I was then trying to leave early enough Saturday that I could get to the farm and then get back to the bank in town and cash my Tax Rebate check and turn in the $100 + in change I've collected over the past two months so I would have money for the trip I'm taking at the end of the week. Well, some things are just not meant to be I suppose. I didn't get Jake and all the plants (We are attempting to save some of our annuals from the winter cold by taking them down to the farm and keeping them inside) and all my shit loaded until almost 9:45. Then I left. I'd only gotten into the factory district on the outskirts of town before the car broke down. Not a tremendously serious problem but it was one that would prevent me from going any further. The rear wheel bearing on the right side basically disintegrated. I've noticed that wheel bearing rarely just start going out. They generally go all the way out at once like this one did. I pulled into an old Hardees parking lot. The Hardees had closed a few years ago so it was convenient as I was out of everyones way and there was no traffic through the lot. I actually lost the inner and the outer bearings at the same time. I got the car jacked up and the tire off, then went to work on getting the break drum off. As soon as I pulled the Kotter pin and the retaining plate, little scarred roller bearrings started to fall out. When I pulled the drum, even more spilled out with a couple of parts of the bearing cage. I knew this was going to be fun. I got on the car phone and called Deb and told her to go down to Advance Auto and tell them I needed a new set of inner and outer bearings and a tub of grease. She was gone before I remebred to tell her to get a tube of hand cleaner as well, but oh well.

I took a rag and cleaned the spindle and it didn't appear to be scarred which was a relief. It took a set of vice gripps to get the two inner races from the shatterd bearrings off the spindle. The outer race for the outer bearing was of course firmly wedged into the drum. Luckily I had a punch with me. No hammer though so I resorted to using the tire tool...fun. This race was boogered up or I wouldn't have bothered. Actually it cvame out fairly easily. I've seen much worse before. The outer race for the inner bearing was a different story. I gave it a couple good whacks but it didn't budge and I didn't have the facilities or correct tools to really go at it. So I checked it and there were no burrs or flaws so I let it be.

I read for awhile until Deb showed up. Jake was fine with laying in the back seat in the sun and watching the cars go past. I was concious that I was sitting within a block of where a city cop got shot and killed a month ago but not really nervous as it was a bright sunny day and lots of traffic. Deb got there with the parts and lots of concern. She wanted to know if she should wait for me to finish and I told her no, that there was nothing she could do to help and that I'd call her if anything more happened, so she kissed me and left. It took me about 1/2 hour after that to get everything back together and get on the road. No mechanical probelms after that.

Since it was daylight when I was travelling as it rarely is, I decided to stop by the Oak Park Cemetery in Lewistown and see if I couldn't find one of my long lost relatives. I actually found her pretty quickly. My great, great, great aunt, Angeline Kinsey Harmon and her husband and their two children. Surprisingly the headstones were in great shape for having been placed in the 1800's. I took some pics and went on. Then I stopped at the Woodland Township Cemetery to do some looking for another relative. No luck there but i din't get to look through all the really old stones, so I'll get an index and go back sometime.

It was well past noon when I made it home so no point trying to get to the bank. So Jake and I spent the rest of the day boucing around in the truck, driving over the newly plowed fields in search of ears of corn left behind by the combine. We give these to people for squirrel corn and laugh at the city people who pay $10 a bag for it. We also cut some firewood for my aunt. I've got a couple of oaks and an ash and some elms down I need to get cut up. I also need to pull about half a mile of fence and the fence posts so I can open up the fields a little more. No more livestock so I don't need the fences between the fields any longer. I'll end up having to take out some small cedar trees so I'll have to write a ritual for that before I do.

I spent Saturday night working on my thesis. Getting things organized and all since I've found tons of more references lately. Marinated some pork chops and had those and some hash browns for dinner.

Sunday most of the day was wasted with a family photo shoot I had to do. 150 or so of my cousins gathered for a 60th wedding anniversary. Pretty boring stuff actually. I know a bunch of them don't like and actually resent me for inheriting grandma's estate and they didn't get shit, but oh well. I don't have to see them too much. The anniversary party was nice though I was just about the youngest adult in the room. I took my photos and promised to get them back to the couple as soon as possible. I stayed for the meal (a bland fare you could tell was designed for people with heart probelms and high blood pressure). I did have a nice chat with an old Marine who had served in WW II. He told all about the battles he was in and what it was like OVER THERE. Fun to talk to him. I took some photos at the reception and begged off staying for the visiting with the excuse of wanting to get back to the city at a decent hour.

Afterwards, I went over and visited my uncle Lee. One of my favorite uncles because he used to take me fishing when my dad was overseas in the Marines when I was a kid. In fact, he taught me how to fish. I still recall fondly getting up early and getting into his truck. Driving down to the local Tavern to buy a six pack of Old Style and a coupe dozen nightcrawlers. You gotta love a tavern that stocks Old Style and fish bait in the same cooler. Then we would head out to the River or a farm pond or slough somewhere and catch bluegill, bass and crappie all morning. Sometimes we'd go out on a friend's boat on the River and catch catfish all day, then spend the evening cleaning. Aunt Donna would roll the fish in egg and cornmeal and fry them for us. What a treat for a little kid.

Lee doesn't do much fishing now because he's on a nebulizer for his oxygen after being a smoker for 40 years. So I take him things now. Shrimp from NC when I go out. Fish fillets whenever I get a big catch and corn for his squirrels. Yesterday I took him about 2 dozen ears that I'd picked before they harvested. He was happy about that. We visited for a bit and he invited me for Turkey Day because all the kids would be home. His oldest son from Phoenix. His youngest son from Chicago and his daughter from Dayton, OH. We talked for a bit about his sister Rosalie who had recently died. He feels a little lonely knowing she's gone. She had Down Syndrome but lived to be 66 anyway. He took care of her for part of the year and another brother took care of her for the other part of the year. We watched some of the Bears game even though I hate Pro-Football. You gotta spend time with the elders every once in awhile though. Eventually, I had to leave and he called me a peckerhead...but when he says it, it's a term of endearment. like "How the hell are you, you old peckerhead?"

I got back home and did some work in the barn and garage. Deb caled to see what time I'd be leaving and asked me to pick up some cigs and coffee on the way. I made some dinner and finally headed out around 8. Got home about 9:30 and Deb and I chatted and watched a little TV before heading to bed to snuggle.

Have to go back over to the farm tomorrow night ot gather all the gifts and things for the NC trip this week.

Peace,

Wander

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wander
Wander aka StoneBear
Bear Dancer Studios

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