What am I going to do?


Usually, I have a lot of various activities to keep me busy.

Being mid-summer, I should have plenty to do in the garden. I also spend a lot of time in the kitchen trying out new dessert recipes. We always do a lot of metal detecting in the summer. And, of course, we travel a lot to enjoy outdoor hobbies, especially fishing.

But, this year, I am doing none of these for a variety of reasons.

My garden is almost empty this year. I have two Troy-bilt rototillers sitting out back. Both went into the shop last fall for repairs. I got both of them back early this summer. The 7HP pull-start came home first. The repairman said he started it at home before he brought it back. He started it on the trailer when it was sitting in my driveway.

I have not been able to start it since.

A 7 HP is hard to pull, but I tried it a few times.


When my neighbor came home from work, he tried pulling it with the same results.

I was hoping to use it to till almost all of my garden early June to put out more green beans (I only have five rows this year. Usually I put out 15 rows.) I also put out pumpkins, gourds and assorted other vegetables.

Now, all I have is grass and weeds.

Early July, my 8 HP electric-start tiller came home.

I turned the key and it started right up.

Happy day!

Unfortunately, it would only stay running for about 30 seconds before it died. The new carburetor wouldn’t work properly.

A total of 3,500 square feet of garden and I had a few beans and six tomato plants (I usually put out 20).

Neither tiller worked.

I have a friend who usually brings his small tractor with a tiller on the back over to work my garden for me.

This year, he was spending most of his time taking care of his wife who had major medical problems, transporting her to and from the doctors and hospital. He understandably didn’t have time for me.

My experiments in the kitchen were curtailed for the past several months.

Susie told me it was too hot to have the oven turned on every day and keep the air conditioner running. All of my friends who usually receive my goodies keep asking when I will bring them some food.

Our metal detecting outings have been basically stopped.

Besides the weather being too hot, the ground is so dry we can’t dig anything.

I don’t dig in yards when they are hard because the grass dies where I dig and the dirt just crumbles. Also, the detector actually finds metal items a lot deeper when the ground is wet.

We did go to treasure hunts in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Michigan earlier this year, but that was before it became so hot and dry.

We have another scheduled in Kentucky and Arkansas, and maybe Ohio later this year.

I hope conditions are better then.

That just leaves our fishing trips.

Susie loves to fish, and we almost always have at least one major trip scheduled somewhere.

Last fall, we were at a writer’s conference in Gaylord, Michigan. I am good friends with the Director of the Gaylord Tourism Bureau and we planned a fishing trip to Lake Huron for this summer. Huron is the only one of the five Great Lakes upon which Susie and I have not enjoyed a fishing outing.

Unfortunately, just before our scheduled jaunt, Gaylord was hit with a big tornado, something very uncommon to that part of the country. It descended on the west end of town and basically cut a path down the center, destroying businesses all along the main street.

We cancelled our fishing so our friend could work on repairing his town. Hopefully, we can reschedule for next summer.

We usually go to northwest Ontario every summer or two to visit my brother who lives there.

Of course, that is right in the middle of great fishing country, so we always work that into our visit.

Covid has cancelled that trip for the past three years.

The Canada border was closed for a while, then we went to Lake of the Woods last year just a week before the border reopened.

This year, for some reason, we just couldn’t work that into our schedule. We may get some fishing when we go to north Alabama this fall.

We prefer going north for musky, northern, walleye, sturgeon or salmon.

The fish we catch when we go south is usually the size of the bait we use up north.

We still have several months this year to enjoy some outings, gardening or baking.

If I can get my tillers fixed soon, have some steady rains to wet the ground for detecting, and cooler weather so Susie will let me turn on the oven without having to run the air conditioner, I can return to my normal schedule.


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