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From the Farm

Free time is good

October 23, 2009
By Kerry Hoffman

In recent weeks, I have had to make some adjustments in my life. It seemed, to me anyway, that the days were slipping by and I was spending most of my time doing things that are not all that important, or family-friendly.

It was time to realign, again, and I honestly feel that it has been a change for the best. Since then, I haven't spent an entire Saturday doing the tango on my computer keys.

I haven't had to rush through housekeeping, to tackle my bills. Yes, sometimes it was even hard to find time to do that.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

Now I can get up early on a Saturday and have my house cleaned before Chuck the rooster decides it's time for everyone else to get out of bed.

This past Saturday, I was cleaning before the crack of dawn. I guess it was a tad too early. When I wanted to vacuum; Joey and Russell were still sawing logs, and it seemed kind of cruel to wake them with the roar of my ever-powerful Kirby vacuum on their weekend off.

So there I sat. I folded a few baskets of wrinkly clothes and then sat there some more.

Believe me, when Joey finally tromped down the stairs at 9 a.m. and asked if I wanted to help him put in his new car stereo, I was almost ready to go.

I've seen grown men put stereo systems in, but only after they've removed practically the entire dash. I didn't know if I would be of much help to Joe. Steve was going to be harvesting, so he was not available.

Joey was absolutely positive this new task wasn't going to be all that difficult.

"You just pull out the old one and put the new one in," he said.

"You think so?" I asked.

"It's going to be harder than you think," Steve added.

Joey was out the door moving vehicles around before I even finished vacuuming. He backed Steve's studly-green pickup out of the garage and drove the chick-magnet, a 1995 Ford Taurus cow-car, into the empty stall.

After vacuuming and mopping the floor of our home, I ventured out into the garage. The first thing I did was crank the heater to 60 degrees; then started to assist Joey with the monumental feat.

Joe had already removed the panel beneath the steering wheel, and was trying to pull the antique AM-FM, cassette-playing radio out of the car's dash.

It wouldn't budge.

I proceeded to remove the glove box thinking I could reach in behind to push the radio out.

Nope, couldn't get to the back of the old radio that way either. Oh, I could see it, just couldn't touch it.

I mentally started putting the car together in my mind. I figured if I could deduce which was the last piece to be placed in the area of the radio while it was being built, I could take it apart in the opposite order.

I knew the middle console was holding the key. It was keeping the secret to this entire project.

Joey and I pried and pulled on every corner of that console. It snapped and creaked, but absolutely refused to come apart.

All of a sudden Joey was gone. His frustration got the best of him and he decided to try installing the rear speakers. Believe me, my frustration was starting to peak too, but I couldn't let Joey see me getting angry at a Ford Taurus cow-car.

After a long time of thinking, I opened the armrest.

There it was. A single was holding the entire console down. I found the secret.

The new stereo fit into the opening perfectly.

We didn't know we would need a wiring schematic - thought we would find one in the owner's manual. Why don't stereo-making companies go into cahoots when attaching wires to radios? Absolutely none of the old-radio wires matched the colors of the new-stereo wires.

I sent Joey to the house to Google a wiring schematic on the Internet.

About 15 minutes later, he was back with the treasure.

We spent the next hour matching the old wires with the new wires; connecting them together with wire nuts.

It was time to see if our work was legitimate. We looked at each other and took a deep breath and Joey hit the switch.

It worked! We gave each other a high-five and grinned from ear-to-ear.

Now that is why I cleared my hectic schedule. I will remember this day forever!



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