Written by Joel Klaassen Wednesday, 25 July 2007 07:30
Last week when I wrote about the “Ice Road Truckers” TV show I was going to segue into a little story about life in a mobile home in our early years of marriage. I didn’t have room, so it goes here.
When we lived in Lawrence in the late ’60s, early ’70s we didn’t feel we could afford to buy an $11,000 house so opted for a $5,300 mobile home, which many young couples did in those days.
Seemed like we always had problems with something. Plastic faucet handles would strip out, and then it took a pliers to open and close the faucets.
Ours had a kitchen in front and the bathroom and laundry were in the back. That made for a drain line from the kitchen sink that was about 50 feet long.
One weekend the kitchen sink plugged up and I thought I would take a garden hose and force out what was stopping it with water pressure. I unhooked the washer hose from the faucet in the back and ran the hose to the front and packed it in the drain with rags.
I then told Nancy to turn on the faucet full blast. The water was really coming fast for a while and then all of a sudden it sounded like it was raining.
Later I learned the drain was plugged because it was frozen solid. The only place the water could go was up through the drain vent and out on the roof.
It’s amazing to me now that we thought we were safe from high winds because the thing was tied down. But it was only tied down to the frame. What that did for the mobile home owner was hold the frame to the ground while the walls and roof were shaken to bits.
I haven’t had much fun the past two and a half weeks with a little problem caused by a planters wart that showed up on the ball of my left foot. I’ve been walking slow for it seems way too long. Some people thought I hurt my back. I wish I had because then my foot wouldn’t hurt.
It started innocently when I attempted to cut the thing out like I used to do. This time was different and I ended up at the Family Practice Clinic, where they cut it out and cauterized it. They did notice that “someone” had been cutting on it. I was told it wouldn’t hurt for at least a half hour—until the numbness wore off. They were right.
About three days later it was still causing trouble, so I took an old tennis shoe and cut a hole in the sole to relieve the pressure on the wound. That worked well for a couple of days until a blister the size of Rhode Island showed up.
It’s now two weeks later and I can almost put weight on it.
Did you read about the guy in Newton who converts Ford Rangers and Chevy S10s to all-electric vehicles. The gas engine comes out and an electric motor and 24 batteries go in. Brilliant!
When I was in high school I had a ’56 Plymouth convertible. It started knocking really bad one day and my cousin said we could put a new crankshaft and bearings in it in their garage at his house in North Newton.
We made the repairs and I drove it back to Hillsboro. After 20 miles it was knocking again so I took it to Curt Vogt, a mechanic at the local Plymouth dealer.
I’ll never forget when he called me over to tell me that when I put in the new bearings they were installed backward, covering the oil holes and causing it to knock. That was my first big lesson in using a professional when you want it done right.