It was bitterly, bitterly cold here today. The temperature didn't get much above 30 degrees F, but the wind chill made it feel like it was in the teens. A quick drop from last week's muggy 60 degrees F. We brought the rabbit into the basement last night. He can be hard to catch in his hutch but he practically jumped into Secondo's arms. He's no fool.
So we should have been suspicious when Primo came up with a list of outside chores that the boy crew needed to do today. To be fair, they are all on the responsible side, and he was concerned by the layers of ice this morning. It was suddenly past time to get the heaters into the stock tanks, and I have to give him props for picking up on that by himself.
They bundled up and headed outside around noon (well, Terzo required a little coercion, but Secondo will follow Primo to the ends of the earth without complaint, and then jump off the edge as soon as Primo orders him too). I kept an eye on them, and soon discovered the reason for the enthusiasm.
He had worked out how to use the plow truck for the chores. Primo will do anything to drive this truck.
My husband bought it, a 4x4 F350 with a snow plow attached, last fall when our little tractor started to show its age. We should have been suspicious about the price. Long story short, the truck started fine when the temperature was above 40 degrees. Anything under that and it refused to turn over. This was an obvious problem for a vehicle that was only expected to move when it snowed.
It was a very grim winter around here for my husband, who stewed all. season. long. about the problem. Thank goodness it didn't snow all that much, or else it would have been warmer to live outside in the barn.
Luckily for us, a mechanically-inclined friend figured out the problem this summer (fuel pump) and got the damn thing to run, because at some point it just gave up the ghost altogether no matter what the temperature. It was an expensive barn ornament there for a while. Forget the original deal; anything that doesn't move is an extremely expensive ornament.
End of problem one created problem two. This thing is a teenage country boy's dream, or at least my teenage country boy's dream. It is high. It is powerful. It has a flashing orange light on the top. It is beat up in just the right amount to look cool. And we will not let him drive it to and from school, much to his everlasting frustration.
Hence: the chores. They used it to spool out the extension cords to the heaters and haul water. Too bad we moved hay earlier this week, because they were ready to do that as well, dang it.
And their means of coercion for Terzo? Primo had promised him "a fun surprise." Turns out, this was it: a chance to ride in the truck.
"Fun" all depends on who's defining it.
At least it got him out of the wind.