Hello, It is turning into a long, hot summer. I mean it is really hot. We’ve had several days well over one hundred degrees. Measurable rain is non-existent. The hay crop and small grain crops have been decimated. Many ranchers selling off a huge part of their herds. Others are contemplating what to do. Should you sell off now or wait for fall? The pastures are going to be in tough shape for next spring. What if I buy hay, or send my cows away, and the rains don’t come this fall or next spring? And I have nowhere to go. Tough, hard decisions.
But last week, Shirley was hot. I mean really hot.
No, not that. The air conditioner in our house quit. Oh, it still made noise. It roared. And for a while it blew air. Not cold air mind you. Just air. Like 98 degree air.
Being the mechanical guy that I am, I assured her I didn’t need an air conditioner guy to fix it. I knew a guy that would fix it for a beer. He’s good at electric stuff and plumbing stuff. And I figured air conditioners are a combination of electricity and plumbing. Shirley was reluctant, but I insisted.
My friend came out and it took about a six-pack to get that air conditioner running. It was great! He and I went to town to celebrate. After about three hours, Shirley got home from work and called. She was hot. No, not that. The air conditioner had quit. I assured her that I would be home right after happy hour and would look at it. Note to self. Bad answer.
I came home and tapped on a deal with a small hammer. That seemed to fix it. The next day I tapped on another deal with the same hammer. It seemed to be working. Shirley and I went to haul bales.
When we came in Shirley was hot. She asked if the air conditioner was working. I checked the temperature and told her it must be working. It was ninety-eight outside and only eighty-nine in the house! I guess she figured that wasn’t working good enough. At nine o’clock that night we moved out on the deck to sleep. It was seventy outside and had dropped to eighty-eight in the house.
We are a little old to sleep on the deck. My bones hurt in the morning if I sleep in a good bed. Sleeping on a blanket on a wood deck is torture. No more overnight camping for this cowboy.
The next morning Shirley insisted I go to Tom. Tom is a heating/air conditioning guy that lives not far from us. He is good. And he is busy. Especially when it is over a hundred degrees for days at a time. He fixed it in a half hour. That was great.
And it only cost like $250 to replace the stuff I had tapped on with a small hammer!
I tell you, that $250 was way cheaper than the divorce I was looking at the day before.
Dean Meyer is an area rancher and former North Dakota State Senator. His ‘Hat Tips’ column can be found in papers all across the state.