Small engines & small miracles...
so... ever since 45 won and Tillerson took over the EPA in his role as Sec. of State, i began thinking that it's time for me to step my adult game up... because in a minute, "fend for yourself" is not gonna be a game. i started a garden last fall and am planting now and watching things beginning to grow. I'm like, "food is important. knowing how to grow it is going to be even more important soon, and I'd rather learn now while the internet is still free and before it's an absolute emergency." i have the beginnings of my summer meals growing as i type.
I realized, too, that i am completely dependent on factors outside of myself for my existence. basically, if the government takes a dive, if the ecology runs off a cliff, if the economy collapses... i may not know what to do. and, if you know me, that thought is highly irritating to me. so, i set about doing something about this state of unwilling dependence on this jimmy-crack-corn society, so that if (read: when) things hit the fan, i can have some inkling of how to keep myself and those around me alive and somewhat cheerful about still being alive.
the piece de resistance, and the purpose of this post is that i am so proud of myself right now, I really feel like i just graduated with yet another degree... this time in small engines. Chil'ren... i fixed a lawnmower that had been sitting idle (with old gas in it that had long since turned to varnish) and had not started for over 5 years.
[insert applause here]
i've been working on it in the evenings for about a week and a half. I went through all of the steps in effective thinking, analysis, problem solving, and knowledge application. I had to learn a completely new set of skills and master them (so that I didn't blow myself up or set my house ablaze... *see YouTube, it's easier to blow yourself up than you may think). I even learned that engaging in new learning (as my Mom calls it) is called "re-skilling" these days. i could go into really unnecessary amounts of detail, but i won't (unless you ask... but i will be blogging about this entire episode eventually). I will say, however, with each passing year, i am more and more amazed with this whole adventure of being a human being. as i age, i am witnessing many of my mental and imaginal faculties sharpening. (I do hope this trend continues.) I didn't realize that i wanted to learn how small engines work until i was a week into diagnosing and analyzing this lawnmower.
2 years ago... i would have either taken it to the shop or bought another lawnmower. I could have -- somewhere between checking the gap on the spark plug, learning how to attach solderless terminal connections to the new battery (it has an electric & pull start) and rebuilding the carburetor -- gotten a new lawnmower, but i persisted... and learned... and almost gave up... and kept going... and learned some more... and probably poisoned myself at least a little bit with gasoline and carb cleaner fumes.
Y'all. I'm telling you, the level of overt bullshit in this country (& world) right now has me on my A-game. If you haven't gotten into how to turn adversity to your advantage... i'm tellin' you, try it... you may like it, or at least fix something for a fraction of the cost of calling in a "professional."