A few weeks ago Jay and I went up to my parents’ house in order to help my dad. He’s going to retire in a few months so he’s trying to get his work shop put together so that he has room to move. His current work shop is crammed to the gills with stuff. Last summer he built onto his barn so that he can move the equipment there that he was storing in the end of the garage. Now that the end of the garage is empty he wants to pour a concrete floor and enclose it for a roomier work shop.
Gary overheard us talking about heading up there and asked if he could go with us. After all, he’s never been to a farm. We said that would be fine, but he would have to make sure he was wearing clothes that he could work in.
The hoodie and sweat pants were fine. When I raised my eyebrows at his footwear he became defensive, “You said to wear work boots. These ARE my work boots!” I couldn’t really argue that one with him. Besides, he remembered to bring safety glasses. After all, it’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.
Gary turned out to be a very good supervisor. He stood quietly in the corner and let us do all of the work. Once in a while he would nod approvingly.
At one point, though, he noticed the lawn mower and wanted to sit on it.
If he sat on the seat his legs were too short to reach the pedals, and if he stood up on the deck he was too short to see over the steering wheel. Poor Gary!
After we were done prepping the garage for concrete I told my dad that we would help him do some wood. This means stacking and splitting the logs that he cuts. This is what my sister and I would do every weekend when we lived at home.
It’s one of the reasons that I don’t like the Fall. The crisp autumn air makes me shudder because it used to mean spending all weekend either out in the woods cutting up tops, or out in the mud cutting up logs. Then stacking the wood in the wood shed. Two loads per day. Both Saturday and Sunday. Every. Single. Year.
Gary was intrigued. He’d never done any kind of work like this so he wanted to get a closer look.
He climbed into the front of the wagon. “That is a LOT of wood!”
I mentioned that this was just one load among many that would be needed.
“But there’s already so much wood right here!”
We flopped the sides of the wagon down and commenced to stacking.
At this point Gary was pretty sure that he wouldn’t really want to try living the farm life. It was too exhausting. Until he spied the tractor…
“Stacking the wood by hand is for the birds. Let’s use this instead!”
As Jay and I finished stacking the wood we could hear Gary making tractor sounds as he continued to play on the seat. Luckily his legs were too short to reach these pedals, too, so I didn’t have to worry about him accidentally putting it in gear.
We began to set up the equipment needed to cut another load with my dad. I looked around, but I couldn’t find Gary. Where did he go? I started to panic when a glimpse of white caught my eye.
He had somehow managed to climb a tree! He was so happy, too. He mentioned that when he’d been on Endor he hadn’t had time to climb a tree. He had enjoyed his time in the woods of Endor, for the most part, but it was so much better to enjoy time in the tree without somebody trying to kill him.
Gary remained in the tree until we had cut a load of wood. Then he wanted to check out the cows. So off to the barn we went.
When you walk into the barn the cattle all think that they are going to be fed. They aren’t very bright. Although, they didn’t want to get very close to Gary. I think his gun scared them.
“I come in peace!”
“They are a lot bigger than I expected,” he said in surprise. I told him that these ones aren’t quite full grown. They’ll get even bigger. At that point he decided that he’d seen enough of them. “Don’t you have any smaller ones?” he asked my dad.
“Whatcho lookin’ at?” Gary asked in his best NYC accent. The calves were wondering the same thing. These ones were still a bit big, though. “You don’t have any cows that are more my size?” he asked.
“Now this is what I’m talking about! Where’s a rope? I want to rope me a steer!” Silly Gary! We knew that if we gave him a rope he would have himself all wrapped up before we knew it. Nope. Better safe than sorry.
I was chatting with Jay and my dad when I realized that Gary had, once again, wandered off. Where was he now??
“Gary, why are you in the back of the truck?” I asked once I found him. “I’ve heard about people riding around in the back of pick-ups and I wanted to see what it was like.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the truck wasn’t going to be moving for a while.
I let him play for a while longer and then it was time to head home. He fell asleep on the way home. It had been a big day for him!