After we returned from our task, flushed with success and relief, Michelle thanked me for my patience.
I thanked her for choosing to interpret my procrastination as patience.
She was grateful that I didn’t get impatient and try to straighten out our wind generator while the wind blew. I intended to stay on the ground and let it sort itself out. If I waited long enough, it stood to reason that the furling joint would loosen up again, overcoming whatever had made it stick in furling position just before Christmas day.
This intent led to a very cozy, oil lamplit, but ultimately restricted New Year’s Eve. When the New Year dawned calm and warm, I decided I should take the opportunity to climb the tower and get the machine straightened out.
Aly came along to keep me company, and proved herself indispensible, as she often does. As I worked my way up the pole, installing sections of the climbing ladder as I went, I turned to find the next section reaching up toward me, ready when I needed it.
When I reached the top, I found conditions much better than the last time I’d been there. With no wind, and a relatively warm 37° I almost felt comfortable up there. After executing my usual “head butting” maneuver once or twice, the joint loosened enough that I could swing it back and forth with the pressure of a thumb. I decided to check the nuts, and tightened them all—good annual maintenance, and if it can be performed on the first day of the year, why not? I even tried dribbling a little liquid graphite into the furling joint to replace the manufacturer’s “marine grade lubricant,” which washed out in the first rain after we’d installed it, creating a horrible stain on the white cylinder.
I descended the tower, disassembling my climbing apparatus as I went. within an hour, the south wind developed. We reached 100% on the battery bank within an hour or so. It blew 30 knots most of the night.
Now we can finish our Christmas season with lights, music, maybe even a movie or two—we have yet to see It’s a Wonderful Life—before Aly starts her trip back to college on the 4th.