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Spring brings flowers, no change

I trickle charge all three alternately for two weeks, so when the time is right mid to late April if us Vermonters are lucky, first start will commence without a hitch. I start my dads old tractor first. Its a Toro, Wheel Horse, Magnum 10, old-school lawn tractor, not one of those new fandangled un-tractory looking zero-point-turn ones with the steer bars and little tires that are all the rage because of their lickety-split mowing capabilities. Ill drive dads old Wheel Horse till she dies four times before Ill buy one of those new ones. I dont want to mow lickety-split. Mowing should be done slowly as far as Im concerned. Mowing is Zennish. I oohhmmm, when I mow. I think deep thoughts, sometimes. I fantasize about many hot babes. I come up with things to write. Other times I simply whistle God Bless America. Mowing should be required at shrink sessions. When Im mowing, Im getting something done, slowly. If you dont mow, you should. Do we always need to rush to get things done? Do we feel the need to finish first, even when mowing our lawn? I stretch each mowing of my lawn out over three days. I want to be last in most things. Ill be the last of my friends to get married and have kids, if I do either. I like that. Im a slow learner, and cautious. Sue me. We love our dear, Vermont, because Vermont is the way it used to be, then we buy zero-point-turn mowers and make Vermont the way it is. We should all have been satisfied with dial-up. I raise the throttle lever to full, pull out the choke knob, and turn the key. The starter turns making a slow, low, guttural, labored, wheezing sound. I turn it over for approximately 4 seconds and release. Nothin. I turn it over another three seconds and the motor grabs and resolves to run. In earnest I push the choke knob in with my left palm and take my right hand from the key using it to lower the throttle to about twenty percent. Its a move that doesnt abide lethargy, made more difficult because each action must be done simultaneously. The Magnum 10 purrs like she hasnt hibernated the past five and a half months. The engine pa rums strong and loud and I know by counting each effort of the piston that the Wheel Horse will go good for fully another season. I love the sound and smell of dads old Wheel Horse tractor. Spring is here. Start the Harley second. Must be she trickle charges like a teenager because every year when I roll her into the sun, turn the key, pull out the choke, give the throttle one full crank, and push the starter button, she administers spark and pops to full song seemingly before you could finish blurting Rumplestiltskin. Thats fast. She has a suicide throttle, a throttle handle that stays open to the point at which you crank it. I crank and leave her idle at about five percent, which is plenty enough to bug the neighbors, but not enough to make them want to call for help. While she idles herself to temperature, I dilly about the garage, sweeping here and there for about 5 minutes, marveling at the spring recital my 1986 Harley plays. I cant believe after she sits all winter, still and proud, she needs only a few hours of 6 volts pumped into her to be up and ready to roll through fully another season. I love the sound and the smell of my twenty-one year old motorcycle. Spring is here. Start the 62 Ford third. Shes from a more simple time and needs fuel to be pedal pumped to fire. In fact, though Im not a mechanic, I believe holding the pedal to the floor while she turns first of the season is mandatory for firing. So thats what I do as I recall its what Ive done for first start all 8 years Ive owned her. She turns longer than Id imagine it would take, so I alternate holding to the floor and pumping. Finally, after a minute (thats a long time), total turning, she, without a hint, fires and BLATT BLATT BLATT BLATTBLATTTATTATATTATT, she snaps sounding like a giant leather strap taken to a painted cinder block wall of an elementary school. If I let her idle on her own she softly rumbles like a vat of thick vanilla milkshake. But when I pop the pedal its BLATTBLATTATATTATTAATAT, a sound so full of testosterone I begin to think tonight I might call on one of the neighbor girls from up the road. My 1962 Ford F 100, long bed sitting shut off, smells like shes dependant on foreign oil. Im in love. Spring is here. Spring is here and everything is new again. Our skin, the leaves, the air, gas prices, grass, and sure as cats are coordinated, our love for our motorized toys. Everything is new, but nothing has changed. Well go about our summer, fall, then our long winter, during which well wait impatiently for spring, when once again well find all will be new, but nothing will have changed. I want change, but it takes too much work. Its risky too. I think Ill go start my weed whacker. Rusty DeWees tours Vermont and Northern New York with his act The Logger. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at rustyd@pshift.com. Listen for The Logger, Rusty DeWees, Thursdays at 7:40 on the Big Station, 98.9 WOKO or visit his website at www.thelogger.com

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