As the weather begins to warm, a farmer’s attention turns the maintenance and repairs of tractors, equipment, and buildings that have had another year of use. Mostly, these repairs are simple and mundane like fixing broken lights for the late nights in the field that will come. Or maybe it is time to change a tire so that on Saturday afternoon (expecting a week of rain) a farmer is not trying to chase down an open tire store. On occasion, a repair has an emotional connection. These repairs were originally done long ago by a past senior farmer and as a young farmer or child you on-look in wonder, as their skilled hands repair the impossible break. Or maybe once again need a tool that was specifically crafted for a specific fix and is only used for that purpose. Mine happened to be replacing the threshold to the door way of our milk house yesterday.
Originally, the board was an inch and a half thick, but had been worn by years of foot traffic, to the point of less than a ½ inch. I wondered to myself how many steps it took to wear a hard board by an inch. The first steps were of my grandpa and dad, then mixed in a few by my aunts, uncle, and a couple by hired men, all whom were taking the same steps with the same purpose I now take. Those memories may as well be etched in stone and make me pause for a moment to remember the past Farmer’s Farmer. The picture shows some one-of-a kind tools crafted on our farm.