Clark Hollow Ramblings: Not what they seem

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have a tendency to look on the dark side when something happens. It might be a part of the old rule: Expect the worst, hope for the best.

When we turned our air conditioning on a few days ago, I began to hear a disconcerting sound coming from the attic, where the air handler resides. It sounded like a sealed bearing beginning to go bad — a constant squeak, squeak, squeak. I fussed and moaned for awhile.

I called my brother, Charles, and put the phone up against the central air return in the hall. Yes, he said, it sounds like a bearing. He predicted that it would only get worse, and when the shaft begins to wobble, I would hear a metal-to-metal noise as the squirrel cage fan started to hit the side of the unit.

Oh, woe is me. Why do things like this always happen to me? I called my good friend who runs an air conditioning and heating supply store in Manassas. Yes, he said, it was probably a bearing, and he doubted I would be able to get to it to oil it. He said he could probably get a new motor, if I could get the model and serial number off the old one. I might not have to replace the entire unit.

I began to see images of hundred dollar bills with wings, flying up through the attic and off into the outside world where I would never see them again.

Now, that’s looking on the dark side. Maybe I was just being realistic, but that is the way I felt. I might just as well have said, “This isn’t so bad; I might be able to fix it myself.” But that is not what I was feeling.

While I’m stomping about the house thinking about having to work in the attic where it must be about 140 degrees, my bride, who is tired of listening to me, goes and gets a broom and walks into the hallway where the central air intake is, and hits it with the broom. The noise stops. She says, “That thing rattles half the time. I’ve been meaning to tell you about it.”

I got a screwdriver and tightened up the latch on the cover. Problem solved.

My dad used to say, two heads are better than one, even if one of them is on a goat. We didn’t decide whose head was a goat, but I began to feel like there were horns growing out of my forehead.

On a sad note, please keep the family and friends of Jeanetta Pullen in your prayers. Jeanetta passed away May 27. She was a wonderful, quiet soul, who lived here in Flint Hill. She will be sorely missed by her family and many friends.

Richard Brady
About Richard Brady 134 Articles

Richard Brady was born and raised within sight of Rappahannock Peak, as was his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, etc. He graduated from George Mason University and was employed for 35 years with various agencies of the federal government. He retired in 2001, and he and his wife, Linda, live in Flint Hill, Va.