I have always thought that God watches over fools and farmers. Why do I think this? Well, mainly because I am both and the Good Lord certainly watches over me. I am often reminded of it and this past Monday was a great, shining example.
Mondays are always a little rough, but this past one was a doozy. Oh it all started innocently enough. I left home ready to meet the world and dive head long into a busy week of harvest. Life was good and about to get better. I was about half way between my house and Dad’s when I realized I had left the mail on the table.
You see the last thing I heard as my wife left for work was “Don’t forget to put the bills in the mail.” What me forget? How dare you suggest I would forget something that important? So there I was making a u-turn and back tracking my way home. First I thought I ought to call Dad to tell him I was going to be just a little bit later than I had originally planned.
That was about the time the whole day went downhill. Dad informed me to hurry up because I had a flat tire to change on one of the trucks. It just so happened to be the truck that was full of grain. We had filled the truck up with grain and parked it in the shed Friday night. Saturday it rained, harvest was delayed and I decided to wait until Monday to take the load into Wamego.
It must be noted that this would be the same Wamego that was hosting Oztoberfest. Don’t get me wrong, I think Oztoberfest is a wonderful event. It brings many people and dollars to Wamego but it is a great celebration complete with a closed main street, yard sales and crowds. All good things, unless, you are trying to navigate a grain truck across said town.
That leads us back to that fateful Monday morning. I dropped the mail safely into the receptacle in town and on to the flat tire. We wrestled the tire off and delivered it to COOP. Much to our consternation and disbelief a hole could not be found in said tire. It was decided to put a new valve core in it and return it to its rightful place on the left front of our fully loaded GMC grain truck.
Tightening the lug nuts involved starting the truck and applying the brake. During this process we heard a mysterious pop and soon noticed fluid dripping from many places and forming puddles under the truck. A quick check and the offending power steering/ brake line was indentified. This discovery and turn of events rendered the truck out of commission and the day that started so promising had turned into a disappointment.
Much grumbling and kicking of the dirt ensued. More than once my decision not to take the load in on Saturday was discussed. Our luck seemed to be running low. That was until we thought the situation through. Had I taken the load in, I would have driven through the middle of the Oztoberfest crowd. Would the tire have gone flat or would the brake line have ruptured? Who knows, but they might have.
In retrospect maybe my Monday wasn’t so bad. The best place to have a flat tire on the left front of your fully loaded grain truck is in the shed as is the best place to have a brake line rupture. The tire has stayed inflated, a new brake line was found and harvest carried on. I guess maybe it was a good day after all.
Finally, on a related note to the person who followed me up that steep hill so closely that I could only see your driver’s side mirror. I appreciate it but you do not need to stop me if the transmission should fail and I would start to roll back down the hill. I am both a fool and a farmer and God will make sure I am safe on both counts.