A.'s birthday present to Cubby was getting the walk-behind tractor running. At least, that's what he claims. I'm sure A. had no interest whatsoever himself in running this particular loud, recalcitrant, and rusty piece of machinery.
You may remember the walk-behind tractor from many, many months ago when A. retrieved it from my almost-brother-in-law's mom's ex-house (got that?). Since acquiring this gem of antique machinery, A. discovered that it's called a Dandy Boy Clipper, probably around sixty years old. And that the engine was shot. Imagine that. So he put another engine on it. And then he had to put on a new pulley. And then he had to figure out what to do with it.
A walk-behind tractor will pull or push heavy things. That's its sole function. There are various attachments that used to be available for them, things like plows and tillers. They were available sixty years ago, when they were still in production. It's a littler harder to find those attachments now. So A. didn't have any. But he really wanted to use his tractor.
That's why he cut down the enormous, overgrown yew bushes in front of the house. We've actually been talking about doing this for some time, but the lure of pulling something with the new toy was the impetus A. needed to chainsaw those huge bushes to the ground. Then he tied them into big bundles, attached them to a hitch he created on the tractor, and dragged them down to the beach for eventual burning.
This required going across the very busy road between our house and the beach. I can only imagine what the passing motorists thought when they saw this.
It worked. And so, fired up by the great power at his fingertips and the several inches of snow that fell Saturday and Sunday, A. spent Sunday rigging up a plow for the Dandy Boy. He did this by cutting an old water heater in half and attaching half of it to the tractor by means of wood and bolts. Or something. I wasn't outside for the construction. Neither did I manage to get any photos of the eventual plowing, because it only plowed for about ten minutes before the drive belt on the Dandy Boy broke, rendering it immobile.
But while it was still moving, it did manage to plow the driveway. So once a new drive belt is procured and installed, we'll have a way to plow our driveway. And who knows what other attachments A. will manufacture out of old junk he finds hanging around. The sky's the limit.
Well, the sky and the Dandy Boy's aging parts.