We often say things because we can say them well,
rather than because they are sound or reasonable.
Walter Savage Landor
Every farmer I know has a plan…. oh yes admit it you do, there is probably one or more rattling around in your head right now. Sometimes that plan will be on your mental list for years and you probably have forgotten what the original intent of that plan was but you know it is still on the list and you have no doubt you will get to it…..eventually.
We are no different here on our farm My Hero and I have lists upon lists of plans. Some of them are very old and we (I should not speak for him) I, have most likely completely forgotten what the original plan was. This particular forgotten but still on the list plan involved a pile of dirt that had been dug out from in front of the barn. I want to say that was a couple of years ago, I want to say that but we all know the older you get the more a couple of years may really mean twenty, you know what I am talking about, don’t you? This huge ugly dirt pile completely covered with weeds after being used as everything from a loading ramp, to a hill for the visiting children to play King of the Castle to finally a very high raised garden now needed to be moved. It was indeed the time. A plan was to begin.
Very early this Saturday morning with a beautiful heavy fog hanging low and cloaking the bales of hay sitting in the fields that are waiting to be picked up. Yes just another thing to be scratched off that ever expanding list of plans. I watched as My Hero hooked the dump wagon to the tractor. I could not believe that this was actually going to be the day. That plan as to what we were going to use all that dirt for now faded in our heads from years of sitting on that list had now morphed into a very different plan. The plan now was to just get that huge pile of dirt out of our way.
With that wagon now hooked up and sitting there blocking my view I knew this was my sign to head outside leaving that comfortable spot in front of the window watching all the action to that place in the tractor seat in the middle of the action. I slid across the wet lawn, smiled at My Hero and climbed into the seat. My Hero started dumping bucket load upon bucket load of that dirt pile into the dump wagon as I found myself getting all excited watching this ugly dirt pile shrink.
With the wagon now overflowing there was that familiar hand signal that meant move out it was loaded. In my excitement to get this big plan started I had forgotten to ask My Hero where it was going so I hopped down from high atop the tractor seat to ask. Like so many times before My Hero explained to me where it was to go and as per usual I really did not understand but said I did and I headed back with a slight idea of where it was to be dumped. Down the laneway past the pile of maple logs that were also on a planning list waiting to be split or something. Turning right past the pile of large flat limestone rocks (I have forgotten what the plan was for those) and onto a flat piece of ground. I shifted out of gear stopping the tractor then reached my arm down to pull the dump lever, well I thought it was the dump lever, it has been awhile. Nothing happened.
I tried the other lever, nothing again, there is one thing I do not like doing and that is admitting defeat to My Hero so I kept trying by fiddling with the levers till something happened and the dump wagon started to lift, I shifted into gear and lunged forward spreading the dirt onto the piece of flat ground that I hoped was exactly where it should have been dumped. I figured out how to get that wagon back down while watching the cows run then surround the fresh dirt pile like a happy bunch of kids in a new sand pile, I sat and enjoyed their antics for a while then I headed up for another load.
When I did make it back up to the pile and the backhoe My Hero came over to the tractor and asked what took me so long, I answered, “Nothing”. He enquired where I dumped it and I assured him it was just where he wanted. Load after load shovelled into the bucket and delivered down the lane to those cows waiting for more dirt to play in and the ugly dirt pile was finally scratched off that list and that plan whatever it may have been was now finished.
I am now sitting here looking out the window from the comfort of my chair and staring through the binoculars watching My Hero in the backhoe surrounded by the happily playing dirty smiling cows. He unfortunately is leveling out that dirt pile in a place he had no intention of having it dumped.
Oh well, another plan finished be it a bit late. A couple of years or possibly twenty…who’s really counting?