I went outside to manage the tall grass that had grown up around the side of our house. I had not been keeping up with the whacking of weeds like I should, as a conscientious homeowner. That meant that I would be stringing along our longest extension cord with the intent of using a whip of fishing line to knock down the weeds that had been ignored up until now. It was a special project. It was deferred maintenance. I was going to take it on while I asked my son to take our lawnmower to all the foxtails that were about to drop their seed on our back yard.
I had not gone very far with my buzzing machine when I looked up and saw my son standing in front of me with a dangling string in his hand. It was the pull cord for our mower, and since he was standing there I knew that he hadn't finished his task. Instead, we were faced with our own new task: repairing the broken grass eating machine.
I have never been what would be described as particularly mechanically minded. I changed a few spark thplugs, and I know how to read a dipstick, but when it comes to taking things apart and putting them back together again, I have had a tendency to get stuck on that first step. But my son is a more evolved being than I am, and I trusted him to guide me as we took apart the top of the engine and used various sized attachments from our socket set to find our way to the heart of the matter. Finally, after taking twice as long to replace the pull cord than it would have to mow the front and back lawn, we had puzzled it out and put it back into one operational piece. I returned to the business with which I had begun.
At last, the grass level across our property had been maintained. My son and I put our tools away and headed inside to start the rest of our day. With a nice warm shower. Except the hot water never came. I worried and fussed over the faucet, then the hot water heater downstairs. It wasn't until several minutes had passed that it occurred to me that it could be the gas. I went upstairs and tried to get the front burner on the stove to light. No luck. I went on line to see if there was an outage in our area. With no outages reported, I picked up the phone to report one.
That call let me know that someone would be out to check on our lack of gas within the next seven hours. I sat there, dirty and sweaty, and resigned myself to the wait. Happily, it was only a two and a half hour wait, and the tech was happy to show me how a simple thump of on the earthquake valve, with something like a weed whacker, could set it off. Something like that was what was keeping the gas from coming into our house to warm the water that would heat the shower that would wash off the grime from fixing the mower that leveled the grass that my son was cutting while I was carelessly dropping the weed eater against the pipe that -
Well, I was glad that I had the day to spend on it.