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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The number 73 is also prime!

In under an hour, on August 25th, 2016, I shall turn 73.

I am grateful to God for my life, for my health, for my family, for my friends, and for my many and varied experiences, many of which you, gentle reader of my blogs, have learned of herein.

Yesterday, I loaded our 1990 Honda 4518 lawn tractor onto my trailer, and started toward Manchester down Interstate 93.  This loyal old workhorse is in need of a new mower-deck drive belt, so I decided to take him down to Nault's Powersports, where I bought him some 26 years ago, and have him serviced professionally.  I have done that only once before in the 26 years that he has been in the family, and Shirl offered to pay for it as her birthday present to me.

Climbing up the Ashland Hill, just a mile south of the Plymouth-Holderness exit (No. 25), a car passed me, and its driver waved, and pointed back at my trailer.  Oh my God!  It was vibrating wildly, at 65 miles-per-hour, with a blown-out right tire.

I pulled off to the side of the highway, and considered my options.  There was a guard rail where I stopped, so I couldn't really get far off the road, only to a narrow breakdown lane.  I decided to creep on the flat tire down to Ashland, and deal with the problem there.

A state trooper came up behind me as I limped the Santa Fe and its wounded trailer down the breakdown lane.  His lights were flashing, so I stopped.  The Trooper came to my driver's side window, which I had opened for him.  He could not have been nicer.  He looked to be a rookie, perhaps 23 or 24 years old.  He checked to make sure that the tractor was well-secured on the trailer, then followed me to the top of Ashland Hill, passing on as it became obvious that I would make it safely to the Ashland exit.

As it happened, I was able to unhitch the tralier and leave it in the parking lot at Ashland Lumber, while I went to find a replacement for a shredded 155/80R13 tire.  I removed the damaged tire on its wheel, and found a replacement tire in stock at WalMart in Plymouth.  The automotive guys there again proved most helpful, as was Gayle, the clerk at Ashland Lumber, a blonde lady of almost my age, who got me permission to leave the trailer there while going after the tire.  When I told her thanks, and that today would be my 73rd birthday, she said, "Happy Birthday! 73? You sure don't look it!"  I wanted to give her a kiss...

In fact, I feel younger today than I did back in 2008, when a case of plantar fasciitis made the walk from the parking lot at the UBB Faculty of Letters in Cluj to my apartment on Pta. Mihai Viteazul a serious challenge...not to mention the 62 steps up to my second floor (third floor as we Americans count them) apartment.

Thank God for such days as 24 August, 2016.  Little challenges in the overall scheme of things, but real physical challenges, the overcoming of which rebuilds our confidence!

It is now about 1:08 AM on the 25th.  I am 73!

Tomorrow, I shall have a morning coffee with the family Morrison, of whom William is my former student in management accounting (and, as he reported at our meeting, three other courses!) from the 1970s, and whose lovely daughter Rachel is the girlfriend of Șuteu Valer (din Satu Mare), one of the UBB grads who came to Plymouth State University for his MBA, and who lived with us for two academic years.  We shall meet at 9:00 at the Mad River Coffee House, then I shall complete the trip to Manchester with the tractor!

It will be a full and fun birthday!

Thanks be to God for this life!

1 comment:

  1. A prime adventure for this prime year -- and thanks for pointing that out. I've still got three months to go --


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