Time flies by! It's hard to believe it is already 2015 and nearly March. Our life on the farm gets better with each year. Our family is growing and the farm is becoming more and more sustainable. I've been thinking back on some what are now memories and would like to share a story with you.
One warm day in September a friend called to let us know there is an auction in our local area. Jody was at the farmers market that day and later had plans to finish preparing a chicken tractor with, Chad, my brother-n-law for meat birds arriving the next week, so I knew I was going in alone. Alone, as in me and two children. So, we finish chores and things at home then headed to the auction. Arriving, I was excited to see just what we needed!! Ten hole nesting boxes with perches; there were eight of these. Did I mention how excited I was! Not sure if anyone else was as excited about them so, I kept the thrill to myself. Of course, the auction began at the opposite end of the fence from the boxes, I had my eye on so, Butterbean, Tater and I went along, purchased a gate or two and waited patiently for our time to come.
The crowd began to clear out and finally the call came for the nesting boxes we had been waiting for. This is when I became nervous, very nervous because this was the first farm auction I've ever participated in my life. The boxes started at $40!! I said to myself : oh, this is so in our price range. My enthusiasm rose along with my paper card flapping in the wind. I surveyed the group to notice there was a challenger !! He seemed to be just as interested and desperate to keep his excitement bottled as I. I thought, where did he come from?? He ran the bid up, up, up, up to $65 ABOVE the limit that my husband set to buy these . Little did I know, he only wanted to purchase one of the eight. At $40 I would have purchased all or seven or even five. This guy, he only wanted ONE! By now, I have completely blown the budget and can only afford 2. Five boxes remain that now tote a price similar gold bars. The gentlemen who sold the boxes had a smile ear to ear, as I realized excitement has no place at an auction.
My treasure laid there on the gravel as I pondered how I was to load these cumbersome boxes. My two girls were tired and ready to go as much as I was. The Manager of the barn offered to help load the items. I thanked him, buckled the girls into their seats and hurried on our way.
I pulled into the driveway to find my brother-in-law was there to help my husband who had not yet arrived. I jumped out the truck eager to vent my frustration to a neutral party. I told him what happened and how I had overpaid and was only able to get two. He reached into the bed of the truck to help unload the boxes and calmly said " there is only one in here." I do not recall any reaction, only ACTION. I ran to the drivers side of the pickup as I gave orders to Anna to stay with Uncle Chad. Tater was with me for moral support as I backtracked my way home searching ditches and the road side. Thoughts of my head on a aluminum foil platter ( because I spent too much for Jody to display me on a silver one) rushed through my mind as I drove. I disobeyed my husband, overpaid for scrap metal, failed to strap the treasure down properly, and had lost half my bounty.
As I traveled back to town my thoughts raced on what could have happened, where could the box have blown out? And then, I saw..........A little fellow dusting his hands off after loading MY figuratively gold plated, grounds for divorce, nesting box. I immediately rolled my window down, waved and hollered to get his attention. I don't remember every seeing someone jump into a tiny truck, back into the hwy and head south quite that fast. I raced to the next turn to turn around to catch up to the tiny truck that was quickly disappearing with what seemed to have become a thorn in my side. At this moment, I realized this could go one of two ways. I called my husband. He's not a very understanding man but he didn't seem too mad or surprised. My brother-in-law must have caught him up on what was going on. Jody advised me to forget the box and come on home. I guess it's the whole two wrongs don't make a right thing but if I was better at addition, I wouldn't be in this predicament to begin with so, I knew to make it right I had to get the box back. He will forgive me, I hoped. We persisted with the pursuit, safely, though Tater was a bit of a thrill seeker egging me on. Window to window, I flagged the man down. Had the man afoot been a grizzly bear of a man I might have drove on but to my relief he was a gentleman. He understood and was happy to return the box.
I humbly drove home as if the box was already filled with eggs. The grizzly bear I married was waiting in the drive way along with my brother-in-law (whom I could tell was dying to know what happened) both staring me down like to inspect me for cuts and bruises thinking maybe I really had to fight for the box. After telling the two what happened, my brother-in-law picks up the 'elastic' tied to the box and said "what's this". I explained that the man was so nice, he helped me tie the box to the bed of the truck (with mysterious white and yellow elastic). The day ended with lots of laughs and quite a story and my husband did forgive me. The hens now have a modest second mortgage on their home.
There's never a dull moment-