They say you should prepare for nasty seasonal diseases, but how can you prepare for the most frightening of them all – a case of lawn tractor blues? And this year it hit me hard. The weakness and pain persist. I’m only beginning to recover. – So, let me tell you how it struck; what I did to ease the pain; and the nearly miraculous cure.
Onset of the Lawn Tractor Blues
There’s a lot of rugged terrain on the vast 1.203-acre SFH estate. Even the best-made lawn tractors would only have a limited lifetime here. The rocks, holes, and ridges make it a rough ride for driver and tractor alike. On the 2nd of September, my Cub Cadet and I were both very weary.
This is what happened.
We were clearing leaves, mowing weeds, all the usual things. The north 40 was done, and we were just finishing off the south 40. That’s when it happened. The old Cub Cadet just stopped moving. – The motor was running. The blades were spinning. But we just stopped.
I checked everything I could. It seemed that the drive belt was still in place. With the little I had to go on, I had to conclude that the worst possible thing had happened. – It appeared that I had just witnessed the death of the tractor’s transmission. And along with that, I foresaw the death of large portion of emergency funds. (Fortunately, we plan ahead and have some emergency funds.)
Of course, it was a holiday weekend. Nothing could be done until Tuesday. When I finally talked to the repair tech, he said we’ll pick it up later this week.
On the scheduled day, I singlehandedly pushed my beloved tractor to the front drive. Later that day, they took it away.
Meanwhile, because it’s that time of year, I ordered two cords of firewood. – Like everything else, it cost more than last year.
The Pain of Lawn Tractor Blues
Yep, my case of the lawn tractor blues was setting in hard. Then, when I talked to the repair service, it only got worse. Let’s just say the estimate for repair was somewhere around $1,800.00. – That’s when my dear wife Blondie and my erstwhile companion Mr. Monte caught the lawn tractor blues from me. – It was over 100 degrees outside, and inside we were all moaning from financial pain.
The firewood was coming soon. The tractor wouldn’t be fixed for many weeks to come. That meant that the Cub Cadet wouldn’t be available to haul wood to the shed. Every cartload would have to be pulled by hand. – I felt very sick, indeed!
A Nearly Miraculous Cure
Yesterday, I received a call from the tractor service repair technician. He had already told me that he was preparing to order the replacement transmission from Cleveland. So, I figured he had called to give me the final estimate. I had some tissue sitting next to me to wipe away the tears. – – – – I waited for his words with the same feeling of agony as someone awaiting the sound of the blade sliding down the guillotine.
“Sir, the problem with your lawn tractor isn’t quite what we originally thought. I had my technician bring it in so we could check it again. That’s when we found the oil residue around the front drive pulley. We also found a lot of oil on the drive belt.”
“Sir, it’s not often that I get to give this kind of good news to a customer. There’s nothing wrong with your transmission. The oil filter was loose and dripping oil on the belt. We tightened up the oil filter and replaced the drive belt. We can return your tractor next week – Of course there will be a service charge, but it will be nearly $1,500 dollars less than our original estimate. – Is that okay with you?”
Suddenly, all the symptoms of my case of lawn tractor blues disappeared. And when I told Blondie and Mr. Monte, they were instantly cured as well.
The Moral of this Story
Blondie and I prayed that things would work out for us. But we didn’t see how they could. And, as I’ve said all these many years, “Serendipity is the answer to a prayer you should have prayed but didn’t. – The moral of this story is: The cure for a case of lawn tractor blues is prayer and a little bit of Serendipity.