When at first you don’t succeed…

by Katie on April 8, 2014

With my years of experience in troubleshooting broken farm equipment (and to clarify, by “troubleshooting” I mean “sitting and waiting for the help I called to arrive”), you would think I would have learned by now the first order of operation is to try, try again. But this morning was proof I do not have that ingrained yet.

You see, at promptly 7:15 this morning, Brandon remembered we had irrigation water for our yard and pasture today. It had arrived at 6am. (I told you, prompt.) Since I was fully dressed, he took over Leyton-breakfast-duty while I ran out the door to the Ranger and took off down the lane to the irrigation ditch at the back of the pasture. (Please do not be jealous of our glamorous lifestyle.)

Anyway, I got the water started, one hour and 17 minutes late, then hopped back in the Ranger to make a little bootleg turn and head back to the house.

But the entire time I was trying to make my turn, the Ranger was just sputtering and hardly moving. Finally, when I was willing it to go forward on a slight incline to get back on the lane, it just gave out. I immediately remembered that we had yet to add fuel to its tank since the day we purchased it last fall. Since we routinely take family Ranger rides in the evenings, I assumed that gas must be the problem. I mean, that’s exactly what my lawn mower does when I run it out of gas. So, I set out on the quarter-mile hike back to the house.

Seconds after I returned, Leyton’s babysitter arrived to pick her up for the day. So while I handled that exchange, I told Brandon the Ranger was out of gas, and asked if he could add more gas from my lawn mower bottle.

Being the strapping young farmer he is, he cheerily set off, carrying roughly 3.5 gallons of gas. Since he has always refused to go on any kind of walk with Leyton and me, I asked, “You’re really walking all the way out there? You’re not driving?”

To which he shrugged his shoulders. I’m telling you, cheerful.

Minutes later, he whizzed up to the porch on the Ranger.

“Katie, did you even try to restart this thing when it died on you? Did you turn the key at all to look at the gas gauge?” he asked.

“Well, no,” I said. “It sputtered, then died. I knew it had to be the gas.”

“Really? Because you know how much gas I put in there?” he asked, rhetorically, as he flipped the key to add the fuel gauge as a visual aide to his presentation, “None. And it still says a half tank.”

“…You want to know what I did?” Again, rhetorical. “I got in, started it, let out the parking brake you had set, and drove back here.”

“…Oh yeah, and WALKED A QUARTER-MILE CARRYING A GAS CAN. I forgot that part.”


Moral of the story:  actually check a gas gauge before declaring a fuel shortage. And do not, under any circumstances, make your non-walking husband walk a quarter-mile for no reason.


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