Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Principles of a Farmer

Marty's blog about the Lunatics in the grass, and their attempt to get unstuck, took me back a few years. I've always had a hard and fast rule (ok, it's a rule I kind of adhere to) that I don't take money from people who need me to fire up a farm tractor and extricate them from a high centered predicament. Exceptions would be, it's the middle of the night, it's raining, I'm on a tractor with no cab, and some guy, (it's always a 'guy')is a smart butt, and yeah when he holds out a $20 bill I'll probably take it. But, generally, I don't accept anything because I'm thinking that maybe some day I'll be in the same position. You know, lost, stuck on a road I have no business being on (remember I still have dementia to go thru) and I will need help. Also I would never, in a million years accept anything from someone local or a neighbor. It's a principle.
About 3 years ago, in the spring, my neighbor called. They own an acreage on the banks of the Missouri River. She had contracted with some landscapers out of Omaha to come up and work around her house. She instructed them not to back their big tandem axle truck into the veggie garden. The ground was soft. They did. It was.
She called, "could you come over and pull them out? It will take a big tractor".
Well my big tractors were busy so I got on my John Deere 4020. An old reliable, no cab, but big enough to do the job. Turns out it was just barely big enough to do the job. They went on their way. My neighbor wanted to pay me which I refused, then she said wait I've got something you might like. Before I could stop her she ran into the house and came back carrying a box. I thought, 'oh good', fruit cake. She opened the box and there lay, in all their glory, 6 frozen, Omaha Steaks, filet mignon's.
Remember I have a hard and fast rule about not accepting gratuities from neighbors.
I had to hold the steaks on the tractor with my feet, while I drove the 2 miles back home.
I have more than one principle.


Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

I bet you drove slow and were extremely cautious the whole way home.

Anonymous said...

Of course he did Ralph, there was a lot at steak!

Anonymous said...

When I was a teenager, years ago, had a couple of guys that had a few to many beers and got stuck on a dirt road. I got the privilege of going over in the rain and pulling them out on an old JD A, needless to say no cab's then. I pulled them out backwards to the gravel road. The one drunk got very smart when the other drunk said we should give the kid something. I just unhooked the chain and drove around to the front of their pickup and hooked up and drug them back into the mud, just far enough they couldn't get out. Figured they needed to sleep it off, and not be on the road. The folks still laugh about that today!

Cold in Indianapolis

Cliff Morrow said...

Dear Cold, that is one heart warming story. Thanks.
Ralph, as I remember we had them over white hot coals in about 2 hours from when I left the neighbors.
And Dan, very punny.

magz said...

this is a wayfun blog cliff! i'm laffing and not farmin here.. ha!
MANY years back me and a broke roomie lived on 14 miles of dirt road, and i have a vague memory buried bout dragging shovels out to widen the clay mucholes after rains, and then using horses to pull stuck folks out. as i recall, most all gratuities were graciously accepted