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Zero Degrees and Frozen Windmills

The past week of cold weather has generated at least one steady job for me& Thawing out windmills. They are all set up with a small hole in the pipe that allows water to drain back into the well supposedly keeping the pipe from freezing shut, but when the windmill turns very slowly in the wind it can sometimes keep just enough water in the danger zone to freeze up. And so it was with my windmills. 
I could tell how cold it was by how many empty feed sacks it took to get the pipe thawed out. I started the week usually burning about four sacks before water started to move again. But when the thermometer dipped to zero overnight four sacks didnt touch the solid ice. 6& 7& 8 Dang! I ended up burning 11 or 12 sacks, I lost count! Water was boiling in the pipe but the rod was still stuck for the longest time. So like I said somewheres around a dozen sacks she finally broke loose. 
We must be in for a warm up cuz this morning (Friday) it only took 8 sacks to thaw things out. But this time I wasn t done when the rod finally loosened up. 
The old windmills had wooden pump stakes running down from the wheel to the pump rod below. Somebody figgered out that ya didn t need the solid wood. A simple chain works better than ever. But the chain eventually wears with all that up and down activity. Guess what? A link on my chain broke overnight. I didn t have a new link so I pulled the pump rod up high enough to wire the two ends together and let her fly. Next to his hoss, wire is a Cowboy s best friend. I ll get some links at the hardware store in town, but fer now at least I got water running in the tank. About 8 or 10 cows lined up around the tank slurping fresh water seemed to agree.  
So Long, 
The Cowboy 


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