Monday, March 24, 2008

Digging the trench, part 3

Today I went about 45 feet in about two and a half hours. Why not three hours, you ask? I learned some important lessons on Kubota maintenance today. First, you can't check the fluid level in the automatic transmission if the thing is on a slope. Pretty obvious, but it took me running down to the temple to read the documentation before I realized what I'd done wrong. It was a panicky moment, too - you really don't want to run the tractor with no transmission fluid.

Next problem is that the fuel gauge isn't accurate when you're parked on a hill. No surprise, but I didn't realize *how* innaccurate until the engine skipped with the fuel gauge reading half. Fortunately I was sitting down to move it at the time, so I just quickly shut it off, drove back down to the temple (again!), got some diesel fuel, drove back up, filled the tank, and got going.

I ran into two veins of cobblestone along the way, which slowed me down quite a bit. I suppose they won't be the last. However, I'm pretty happy with my progress today - the big question is whether I can get to the point where I'm not wasting part of my three-hour window on maintenance - that is, can I do a full three-hour day or not?

While I was digging through the cobblestones, I was noticing just how good the soil is here - it's a lot like the soil at the farm in Claremore. Just drier. The dirty rocks reminded me of a time when I was probably five or six years old and I went digging potatoes with my great grandfather, Grampa Gene.

It's a really fond memory - I remember the smell of the freshly turned earth, and I remember the feeling of triumph when I found a potato, or better yet a clump of them. I remember cutting one potato with my shovel, and Grampa Gene telling me not to worry about it.

But what brought the memory back was the brief feeling of triumph I remember when I got a stone, which looked exactly like a potato until I picked it up and realized it was just a stone. The cobblestones I found today were just that sort of stone. It brought a smile to my face as I dug through the cobblestones, which didn't hurt, because they were slow going.

Actually, I might have been older than that - I was thinking that he died when I was seven, but I think I was twelve. So maybe I was nine or ten when that happened. His passing was a very weird thing for me - I made a big fuss when they told me he was gone, because I thought I was supposed to, but it was a complete sham. Actually I had no idea at all how to feel. I was sorry he was gone, and I miss him still, but the fact of his going was no surprise to me, and it didn't upset me. I don't really know why I kicked up such a fuss about it - I think I felt guilty for not being upset.


Blogger Andrea said...

If only it had been a vein of potato instead of cobblestone!

Monday, March 24, 2008 3:55:00 AM  
Blogger Ted Lemon said...

Yeah, no kidding. Well, I think potatoes might actually grow well out here. We should plant some.

Monday, March 24, 2008 3:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Mummy said...

You were 9 when Grandpa died (in 1974). I'm glad you have real memories of him--especially ones parallel to mine. He thought you were wonderful!

Friday, April 04, 2008 5:27:00 AM  

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