Thursday, May 18, 2017

Know Thyself

We've slowly but surely been clearing stuff out around the pottery -- anticipating an ultimate move.  It means getting rid of things that haven't had any use for years.

This morning I took a load of scrap metal to the recycle plant (read: junkyard -- which also happens to be my next door neighbor).  The most interesting throw-away was an old cast aluminum electric wheel from the 60s.

Anyway, as I was pulling back into the north end of my horseshoe driveway I noticed an old pickup truck entering the south end. 

As I came around the bend, the driver of the pickup had exited his truck and was walking toward me as I was getting out of my van.

I knew what he wanted.  At least, I was pretty sure I knew what he wanted.  As part of my cleaning out the kiln barn, I had set two old Lawnboy mowers (including one, the engine of which I blew last week) out at the end of the driveway.

Where I live, that's all one has to do to get rid of things -- dead mowers, dead dishwashers, magazines, boxes of cassettes (all of which I've placed there over the last week).  Usually within the day -- often within the hour -- someone will pick up whatever's put there.

Well, as I mentioned, I thought I knew what the pickup driver wanted.  So it was my expectation rather than his heavy rural Hoosier accent that threw me as, walking toward me he said "Die takeyer parkinplace?"

I said, "What?"

He repeated "Die takeyer parkinplace?"

Since I thought he was asking permission to take my dead mowers, but apparently in some new language I'd never before heard, I asked once again, "What?"

And once again he said "Did I  take your parking place?"


I finally got it.  He was politely asking me if, having entered my driveway in such a manner to block my exiting, was he in the way?

"No, no.  I'm not leaving." I said.

THEN he asked if I was getting rid of the mowers.

I told him he was welcome to them and that, in fact, I would help him hoist them into the bed of his pickup.

"I LOVE mowers." he said  as he walked beside me toward the mowers and his pickup.  "Just love 'em." 

He was smiling rather excitedly for somebody about to take possession of two mowers with zero life between them.  But there you have it.  He was genuinely happy.

"It drives my wife a little crazy.  I've got probably about 35 mowers.  Maybe 5 or 6 riding mowers.  I'll pick up other old ones for parts and see if I can get 'em all running.  These'll be good for some stuff" he said as we lifted the older one.

I was thinking about the fact that having blown the engine in my mower last week, I was suddenly in the market for a replacement.  That, and the fact that I'd just the day before been discussing with my friend, Garry, about a friend of his who fixes old mowers for resale and turns out some mighty fine machines, I asked the fellow, "Do you sell the ones you fix up?"

"Oh no, I don't sell any of them.  I'm a hoarder."

He said it with a sense of .... I don't know ... pride?  He was more than fine with it.

Such clarity.   The man knows who he is and what it's about.  

While I go through life hoping in vain for an aerial view of my life, this guy is absolutely delighted with one simple bit of knowledge:  He loves lawnmowers.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Carter.

      Maybe if a few of us keep at it, we can make blogs relevant again. :)

  2. That story touches so close . . .

    The truth is, I love pots! I'm a hoarder and I admit it. Ha Ha Ha!

    1. Some hoarding is better than other hoarding.

    2. Oh, and thanks for catching my misspell. Self-editing may be the hardest part of blogging. :)