Friday, August 22, 2008

One Must Have Principles

I’ve always believed that one must be principled. You must have a doctrine, or set of personal rules that you follow in this life. One of my rules is that I don't take money from people who need my help or 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 acting like I owe it to him and 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 and stuck on a road I have no business being on (remember I still have dementia to go thru) and then I might be the one needing help. Also I would never, in a million years accept anything from someone local or a neighbor just for helping them out. After all, I do have my principles.A few years ago, in the spring, my neighbor called. They own a small 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 tandem axle truck into the veggie garden because the ground in the garden was very soft. They did anyway and found out she was right.She called me on the phone, "Could you come over and pull them out?” “It will take a big tractor.”Well my big tractors were also buried; as in buried deep in my machine sheds so I got on my John Deere 4020. An old reliable, no cab, but big enough to do the job I thought. Turns out it was just barely big enough to do the job. After digging the 4020 down a few times I finally pulled them out and they went on their way back to Omaha. My neighbor wanted to pay me. It was nice of her to offer but an idea that I of course scoffed at as I put the tractor in gear. Remember, I do have my principles.
Then she yelled over the noise of my tractor, “Wait, I've got something you might like.” Before I could stop her she ran inside and when she reemerged carrying a box, I thought, 'oh good', fruit cake. She opened the box and there lay, in all their glory, 6 frozen Omaha Steaks, fillet mignon's to be exact.Remember I have a hard and fast rule about not accepting gratuities from neighbors.Well I had to hold the steaks on the tractors platform with my feet while I drove the 2 miles back home.I should have mentioned that I have more than one principle.
~Cliffs Note~ this is from the current edition of the Midwest Producer Magazine.

20 comments:

Gette said...

Well. Omaha Steaks, to be sure. If they're NoName steks, just forget it.

Rachel said...

WAY better than fruitcake!!

bobbie said...

Well, Cliff, you gotta have principles!

possum said...

Now I am a vegetarian... but I haven't ALWAYS been one... and my memory isn't completely gone just yet... gosh, I feel like one of Pavlov's dogs. Does drool hurt the keyboard?????
I have a neighbor who helps me - he is wonderful! But he won't let me give him anything. This summer I found the key - I brought 6 frozen Buffalo Burgers back from a butcher shop near our summer place. They LOVED them! I saved another 6 pack for the next good deed he does for me - and there will be something! I am blessed to have him as I am sure your neighbors are blessed to have you!

Jamie Dawn said...

I bet those steaks were grilled and eaten before nightfall. Well, maybe not all six of them.
We are carnivores around this house, so meat eating is just part of the goings on. We do add veggies and salad and some fruit to the menu, but if there's no meat, there's no meal.

it's good to be back home and back to blogging.
:-)

Shannon said...

That is classic! We feel the same way around here. Exceptions being teenagers playing around and getting their new truck stuck in the ditch, in the middle of the night. Some times the 4840 DOES come in handy, lol. Recently a neighbor had a new double wide delivered and the company couldn't get it up their driveway! Again, 48 to the rescue. Oh, and did I mention it had to be BACKED up the drive and put into place in order to get around the trees.

Kelly said...

Cliff,

I came here from Bobbie at "Almost There" to see the "Kick Ass" Award winners! Yours is a definite winner! I am enjoying your blog so much! I definitely see why she picked you as one of the winners!

You have a great blog and I'll be back reading it again!

Congratulations on your award!

Kelly

Ralph said...

Cliff

Food has a way of making principles.

Ralph

Jim said...

Hey Cliff, you rang a couple of bells with me here! Thank you.
Bell # 1, those Omaha steaks came from Texas, cows and meat plant. All the wet backs have left the midwest, you guys are too tough on them. We are openning several new meat packing plants, we have an 'agreement' with those guys.
Bell # 2, I took $25 from a friend one time for writing her and her husband wills. Those were the cheapest wills ever written except for the free ones. :-)
..

Peter said...

Best not to get too weighed down by those principles Cliff!!!!

LZ Blogger said...

Cliff ~ Well if principle Rule #1 doesn't work... sometimes you have to move on to Rule #2 which says... "Omaha Steaks trump Rule #1!"- Just a thought! ~ jb///

Janell said...

I'll bet the steaks were well worth the trouble it took. Kinda makes you wish somebody else would get stuck over there and need your help, doesn't it?

Lucy Stern said...

Cliff - How can you turn down Ohama steaks? TF makes keys for one of our neighbors and she pays him with cream puffs.

Jerry said...

I'd settle for some more cherry jelly.

EV said...

Did Dumb and Dumber ever thank-you? .... your neighbor might have given you the steaks to see you steer w/ your feet?

Granny Annie said...

I don't know how I missed this post. You sound like my husband. He too will help neighbors in distress and not accept pay. He calls me greedy when I say, "Why didn't you take the payment?" He has a lot more friends than I do. Hum, could it be.........

Jim said...

Cliff, that 'Ray (busboy) Nagin' was 'buttboy' this year, like get your 'butts' out! The La and N.O. people are proud of him now! Even FEMA is doing good.
BTW, they fired the FEMA croni guy appointed by GWB. He was a banker who knew nothing about emergencies.
GWB's appointees were all either his Dad's 'old' trusties or else high rolling contributors. I will be glad for the (hoped for) changes to come!
Guess I forgot Condoleezza Rice, a former Democrat with three degrees in Political Science. [Shame on me, ;-)]

I parked the car while Mrs. Jim when into the stadium. I had trouble finding it (an ex-FEMA employee was giving directions) but the LSU cheering was so loud I couldn't even hear Mrs. Jim to give me good directions.
..
BTW Mrs. Jim and I have attended all the games, bowl games included, that Nebraska and LSU have played in the last 37 years. We are still friends.

Ralph said...

Okay Cliff we get it. You are a man of principles - send food. We will if you put up a new post.
Ralph

Flip Flop Momma said...

Well, I normally dont accepct gifts either when I help people..

but when your talking steaks..

I mean heck, who can turn that down?

Miki said...

Cliff,
you do have to have principles! I guess that I would be bracing those steaks on my platform between my feet too. WOW, what a nice gift. Seriously though,I get what you mean aobut not accepting things or money for just helping, that has always been my way in life, even as a younger person.