Pondering Pace with Farmer Rod

How's it going? I was really hoping someone would ask me that on Thursday morning. It was supposed to be a typical Thursday for me, taking lambs to the butcher. Wednesday night, as usual, I weighed the lambs and set up a small pen near the door, ready to go. This process sometimes involves lifting and moving a few lambs, and Wednesday night was one of those times. Lifting a 100lbs lamb is probably something I shouldn't be doing anymore. So, Thursday morning, I woke up with those all-too-familiar sore muscles and a lower backache. But, as they say, the show must go on.

I headed up to the barn to load the lambs, which went relatively smoothly. However, upon our arrival at the unloading dock, my back protested the task of bending over to walk the lambs off the trailer. Thankfully, Jordon, the abattoir owner's son, took pity on me and hopped in the trailer to assist. In that moment, I stopped and offered Jordon a piece of utterly useless advice, saying, "Jordon, I've got some advice for you: don't get old!" He chuckled and assured me he planned not to anytime soon.

After completing that task, I headed home for morning chores. One of the winter feeding tasks involves shoveling silage. I have a small, short-handled shovel that requires bending over with every scoop, and yes, that hurt. I thought, "Why don't I have a long-handled shovel?" Nevertheless, I continued, feeding the hay ration for the day using a gas-powered bale unroller, which required lifting a heavy gas can – again, not great for my back that day. To top it off, it was bitterly cold.

Chores were finally done. I had some breakfast and a coffee, deciding a trip to town was in order. I went to Home Hardware in search of some selfish conveniences. First, a nice long-handled aluminum shovel – yes, this will do nicely, much better! Then, a small gas can to ease my struggle, and oh, what's that hanging at the end of the aisle? Yes, a nice new pair of furry-lined work gloves. Thank you, I think I will! 

At the checkout, in my usual fashion, a conversation needed to be had. So, I said, "Well, here it is – the selfish convenience old-guy package: a long-handled shovel to make chores a breeze, a small gas can to ease my struggle, and some new warm gloves to comfort my days". The checkout lady grinned, I hope in appreciation of my humor.

I headed home, stopped by Mom and Dad's to check in, and then it was time for chores again. I was so excited to use my new shovel, and it was a winner – no pain, no bending, just a bit slower. 

It occurred to me that perhaps, as one ages, the objectives and aspirations need not undergo a transformation; maybe, I pondered, it's merely the pace at which we approach them that adjusts. And that's perfectly okay with me..

Rod Ewing
Your Farmer Friend
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