Angels, Duck Pumps, and Codgers

   Written by on May 4, 2017 at 10:12 am
The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

Original Run Date:

July 1, 2010

One night last week my bride Management looked out the bedroom window and screamed. Now you should keep in mind that Management is not a screamer in spite of the fact she has screamed several times this summer. I have always made it a point to avoid screaming women and I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to marry one of them. All three times she has screamed were possibly justified but I hope we aren’t at the beginning of a new trend.

She looked out the window and there was a large glowing figure in a white robe standing in the front yard in the moonlight. It could have been a member of the KKK, an Episcopal bishop, or a recent college graduate, all of which are eligible for shooting if in my yard after midnight. Fortunately for us it was only an angel. If Management had had a gun handy she would have made an angel out of that angel.

I was neither shocked nor surprised. I frequently see an angel wandering around the yard, watering the plants, cutting the grass and playing with the dogs.

There was a reasonable explanation. The angel has been on our porch for a few months waiting for me to paint her. I have been wanting a statue of St. Jude, (patron saint of lost causes as well as other things) to put in the garden. Management found the angel statue and brought her home.

Last week I got motivated and took her out into the yard and started painting her white – the angel, not Management. How was I supposed to know she would glow in the moonlight? How was I supposed to know Management wouldn’t recognize her own angel? How was I supposed to know Management was working on her screaming? The next time I get the urge to paint an angel I am going to get some of that body paint and…well, never mind.

In addition to painting an angel I have been working on a Duck Pump for the kids to play with at the Duck Derby we are sponsoring. The concept is simple. All I needed to do was mount a couple of pitcher pumps on a couple of water barrels and run a gutter to another tank.  The harder the kid pumps the more water flows and the faster the little duck moves down the gutter. Simple, easy and cheap, right?

Well, the first issue was finding something to mount the pumps on. It happened I had a couple of old iron sewing machine stands in inventory as well as a couple of pitcher pumps. The first problem was that the leather washers in my pumps have dry rotted, not to mention my pumps are rusted and broken.

I found a couple of pumps on ebay and mounted them. In theory they worked perfectly. In reality there were a few snags. I worked through ten or eleven of the snags when I realized my old friend Gravity was working against me on this one.

An enthusiastic kid can pump five gallons (at eight pounds to the gallon) to pump one duck. A race takes two kids. That means in the absence of a victim, I mean a volunteer, I would be toting water all day.

Fortunately, Gravity, if not sanity, can work two ways. I set up another set of pumps at the other end and what two kids can pump down another two can pump back. I have always been a big fan of child labor – except when I was a child.

I suspect my only issue is going to be the old codgers. When I rebuilt an apple cider press so the kids could learn how to make cider, I attracted as many Codgers as kids.

It turns out Codgers have happy memories of making cider and enjoy revisiting those memories. You do have to wonder if the parents of those Codgers have the same happy memories or if they remember sullen complaining kids whining about making cider.

I suspect the Codgers are going to have the same happy faulty memories of pumping water by hand but we’ll just have to wait and see. Either way it goes, Codgers or kids, I think they are going to enjoy pumping water, at least this time.

Leave a Reply