Surviving With A Husband & A Family Of Gas Engines

| December/January 1990

RD 1, Box 151B, Iron Bridge Road, Mount Joy, PA 17552

It was 3:30 in the afternoon, and I was staring wide-eyed at the Jay County Fairgrounds, which I might add was over 550 miles from my home in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. Almost everywhere I looked were mud puddles, some so large that I began to look for the loons, but these ponds were muddy, not golden.

Had I actually suggested that we vacation in Portland, Indiana for the annual Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Show? I must have been out of my mind-I could have been in Martha's Vineyard. But, I thought, 'Our motel reservations are only a half an hour away.' I could almost feel the heat of the water streaming from the hot shower I would take, and how relaxing it would be to slip between the cool, dry, clean white sheets.

Before I continue-to be fair to Ed, we had brought sleeping gear with us in case we decided to stay for two nights (no more) in our pickup truck. Suddenly fifteen minutes before the 6:00 p.m. deadline I was dropping coins in a pay telephone canceling my precious reservations, cutting the umbilical cord to the style to which I had become accustomed. What would my arthritic spine say to this?

Life this week was not going to be a beach. Instead of the tranquil sounds of the surf, I would be waking up at 6:00 a.m. to a steam engine whistle that seemed to say, 'Get up, we've got lots to do today.'

Seriously, I was in the friendly rural town of Portland for one reason: my husband is a gas engine collector, and now I'm going to tell you about Ed's pride-and-joys.