Sometimes I listened
Posted on 8 Apr ’13 by Earl
The last week was full of preparation for the outdoors, spring and another summer.
The yard equipment is all ready now — inspections, repairs, changing oil/filters, cleaning air filters, greasing spindles and sharping blades. I’ll admit there’s pleasure for me in preforming these tasks and more than a small amount of satisfaction when they’re done. It also connects me to my father.
I’ve mentioned I was raised on a small farm. In my father’s time there was no such thing as a disposable society or way of living. He certainly never had very much disposable income and always lived by if you wanted something, you worked hard, saved your money, bought it for cash and then took meticulous care of it so it lasted forever. Most home and farming equipment he ever owned he purchased used and those same pieces were still functioning decades later when he passed away.
His farming began with a 1938 model Ford tractor which was later upgraded to a slightly larger one from the 40′s or early 50′s. This second tractor worked the farm for close to 40 years and I personally spent many a long day on it as I was growing up. The same was true of the mowers, sowers, plows, disks and other equipment he accumulated. Equipment or tasks he didn’t or couldn’t own or do himself he bartered for with his labor or payed someone to do.
This philosophy wasn’t limited to his farming efforts, it was the way he lived his life. I could name/count most of the cars and pickups he ever owned on one hand. The first new vehicle I can remember him buying (a ’64 Ford pickup) was a big deal for the whole family. He drove that truck for 20 years and when he sold it it was still in great shape.
I don’t believe he was unique in this philosophy. Many if not most of his generation lived the same way. Certainly those were different times and a different philosophy of living from what seems to exist for many today. These days planned obsolescence is often calculated in the early design phase.
These were thoughts occupying my mind as I recently mowed the yard with our seven year old mower that seems to run and mow better now then it did when new. I may never own, or hopefully need, another mower.
Thanks, Dad. I was listening and watching even when you probably thought I wasn’t…at least on some things!