by Curt Kovener
Back in the winter I told you of removing the deck on the dock at the wilderness retreat. It was cold but with six inches of ice I was able to easily work around removing the boards then later replacing the nearly unsafe support structure with new treated timber.
After a couple of warmer recent weekends of sanding, staining and water repelling the deck boards, Charley and I got busy putting them back on his fish hunting platform Saturday.
There were 29 boards each with 8 screws. That is a lot of kneeling, aligning, bending, pushing, get up, move over, and repeat.
It took me several rest breaks for my knees and thighs to regain some feeling before I accomplished the task.
To toast the renovation, the newly re-decked dock was toasted with a wee bit of chilled adult beverage of bourbon vintage.
Sunday morning at church my knees & thighs let me know that their Saturday workout was more strenuous than they wanted.
With the deck project complete, the next task was to complete the seasonal engine lubrication maintenance for the mowing equipment. A battery charger on the big mower did its job on Saturday so I fired up the zero turn mower for the first time since last fall. It started right up, I let it warm up a bit, then slowly moved to the open garage door where the light was better and I could still work from a level surface.
Suddenly, little pieces of white started coming from the exhaust pipe. “What the…?!?,” I thought.
I glanced at what was blowing on the floor and saw that it was popcorn and I knew what had happened.
I pulled the mower outside and revved the engine up. Just like a cartoon the popcorn kept blowing and blowing. Finally, just as old maids left in the microwave too long, smoke—not of the oil burning kind—came out the exhaust pipe and then a very burned odor before everything cleared.
I had stashed some wildlife food plot seeds in a plastic bag in the barn. It was a variety of critter food like buckwheat, soybean, sunflower, sweet corn, and…now we all know…popcorn.
But mice decided to not wait for the crop production, chewed into the seed bags for some winter sustenance, had their way with whatever food then wanted immediately than decided to store the popcorn for later. And what a convenient metal storage container the mower muffler made with an exhaust pipe just big enough for small rodent only entry.
Little did any of us know that it was also a 26 horsepower hot air corn popper.
Charley likes popcorn and spent much of his day sniffing out and eating the unexpected snack.