Monday, February 6, 2012

Breakdowns on the Farm!

Nor are we to use living creatures like old shoes
or dishes and throw them away when
they are worn out or broken with service.
                  Plutarch (AD 46-120)

Well we all have had breakdowns, you are doing something when something breaks or just wears out and you have to either fix, or replace it. Most times it is always at a very inconvenient time, like in the middle of baling hay when they are calling for rain, and the belt on your baler breaks and you soon realize this had been the replacement belt, and you never ordered, or forgot to order another one because you thought it could not possibly happen again. Or your tractor may just stop running for unknown reasons and since you need it every day, you can’t afford to not fix it.

Most times a farmer will first try to fix it him/herself. If this does not work he/she makes the phone call and then the trip to the Dealers parts store to replace or order the new part. (Make sure you bring the old part to show them or there will be more delays). The friendly people behind the counter at the dealers are always very happy to see you. Most times they have the part but when they do not you have to wait a day or two even with a priority rush and just deal with it. You come home and wait while looking out the window and I am sorry to say sometimes there is cursing (under your breath of course) involved. The phone call comes the next day if you are lucky, and then you go and pick up the part and leave your money on the counter. You then return home then help put the new part on that piece of broken down machinery, then you can get back to work.

Well this always happens to every farmer I know, we all have stories I am sure. What if it is not the machinery but a body part that breaks down, or just wears out, what can you do?
What if it is your back from all the hard work over the years, or your knee from getting in and out of a tractor every day for over 30 years?  What can/would you do then?
 This reminds me of my Mom, every time I see her I ask if there is anything she needs. Every time she replies “A new body”, I in turn reply I just went to the OLD LADY body part shop the other day they were all sold out; there must have been a sale on OLD LADY parts. We both laugh every time.

Well now I think I know what she means; as we age our body just seems to breakdown or wear out. If you can afford a chiropractor you can get it maybe not fixed, but managed. You may use back braces and exercises, or hot packs, or tubes of my new favourite Voltaren Emugel to ease the discomfort, but it is still going to be worn out. You will still have to work no matter what. The chores will not stop and you will just have to find a way to deal with the discomfort. There is not a dealer to phone for a replacement part.

Well in my case my knee has probably just worn out, I will continue to climb into that tractor to go do those chores, hike through the bush that I love and keep going. I will probably not be snowshoeing, which this year will not be a problem in Ontario as it does not look like we will ever get enough snow. Maybe next year, and I will be ready.

It would be very cool if there was a real OLD LADY body part shop. You could just walk up to the counter and the friendly people would ask “May I help you?” You would reply I will take a new knee, size small please. Is there any way I could possibly order a new back, size men’s large? I would really appreciate that. Thank you. 

 Maybe this store could be located beside the tractor parts store. This would save me some time, and gas.

Need anything?



  1. So very true and so well written.

    As for your knee...have you ever tried fish oil? It has worked wonders for my knees!

    Take care of yourself, Buttons.

  2. This is so true! I hope your knee gets a second wind!

  3. Ugh wearing out if parts suck. Why is it we never feel as old as our body does.

  4. Well, actually---at least to a certain extent---you CAN get replacement parts. Lots of friends and acquaintances have had replacement knees and hips.

    But, you're right. It kills me that I feel like I'm still 20, but I can't do what I did then by any stretch of the imagination.

    My grandmother used to say "Old age is hell". I guess she knew what she was talking about---she lived to be 100.

  5. awww. i wish things were that simple (and affordable!)

  6. I love this post - it is the epitomy of "getting worn out as we age" epiphany that you get, when you realize your body parts dont wanna...right after you ask it again to please move quickly lol

    love also that little joke between you and your mum!

    and finally, maybe thats why I love the story of the velveteen rabbit so much - we may be wearing out by living, but it doesnt mean our journey ends there ;)

  7. My 94 year old Dad says getting old is hell too. Thankfully we CAN get replacements for a lot of our parts these days.
    Your comments about the tractor hit home for us. We have to travel over 60km to the IH/Case dealership for ours, sigh......

  8. I hear you, girl. Both me and my hubby could order a few new parts and pieces. It's hell getting old, as they say. But it's much better than the alternative!

    Great post. Makes one think. :)

  9. I like your idea. Both for the people parts store and locating it next to the tractor parts store. Too bad our bodies can't get better with age like our spirits do---and wine and cheese.

  10. My Father In Law was always working on his tractor. My hubs grew up handing him a wrench! My mom too...Man she wants her legs to work again. Tough. Do whatcha can.

  11. Be careful what you wish for. My husband got a new metal ankle for Christmas. We just got an itemized bill and the drill bit they used was $300! If they had told us ahead of time I could have picked that up at Menards for a cool $20. Where is your old lady sale? I need to get some old man parts:)

  12. Love your joke between your mom and you! Funny! My dad likes to say that he used to be able to leap and grab an orange off the tree, no problem. Now, he leaps and barely gets a few inches off the ground-- very frustrating when he was able to do it just a few years ago.

    Hope your knee feels better soon!

  13. I'll start with a completely new frame and go from there!

  14. I get it! They say I am a candidate for having my knee replaced and I have been holding off and holding off. This bone on bone and gimpiness is a real pain...but it has not stopped me from doing chores etc. Parts is parts, and here we are.

  15. So sorry you're having problems with your knee! EW! Not good at all!


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