Saturday, February 12, 2011

The harder we fall

Woke up thinking about a serious friend of my brother’s. Oh I knew him also but those two are a couple never say die characters. Well, as it is I learned he’s selling out all his farming equipment, I mean I didn’t give it much thought when he had another production auction sale last fall as he’s had a production sale every two/three years (as he called them, particularly a couple he’d almost sold out completely, saving a couple/three good old girls each time) as long as I’ve known him. Maybe I’ll turn this into his story and his wife’s as well, as much of it as I think I know. What few details I know go together something like this.
This Mark and his girl Jenny scarcely out of high school he gets a notion he wants to go to Alaska. As far back as I remember there was an oil boom in Michigan away back when and I’m imagining he had gotten a job in Michigan’s oil fields about that time when Michigan’s oil exploring were beginning to wane. Wildcaters must have punched a hole in this state‘s every square mile. Near as I figure he being a good worker he was invited to go along. That had to have been about 65 years ago. So it was likely even before he had his bag packed he had told Jenny she/they had to get married if she were going along. Likely not even of age but old enough no one could tell them what not they could do, they tied the knot and were off.
Both of them in Alaska long enough to learn something of the oil business and a family expansion on the way they came back home to the genuinely farm country they grew up in. With the money he’d made they made a down payment on a farm out on some of Michigan’s flatter lands. The farm falling short supporting them this man not one to walk around a challenge put what money they had left with borrowed money into another piece of property and went into the wholesale oil business with a couple storage tanks and a truck supplying gasoline stations around the farm’s immediate area. What ever he talked over with Jenny, if it were called that, before he bought some registered Shorthorns for simpler farm tasks while at the same time handling his gas and oil deliveries both business’s grew at the same time. Jenny did the office, paper, and accounting while Mark flexed his muscles between the farm and oil business’s building for them a comfortable estate filled with kids and more challenges. Mark either became the one or one of many Michigan’s premier registered Shorthorn breeder’s and cattleman.
This has to be a difficult time for these people their out living some their kids. Mark has had many bouts with the cancers, his outliving the odds including living with but half of one lung the las maybe twenty years. That had to have been about the time they absolved the oil business’s as well as merging their accumulated filling stations to a bigger outfit. Not a man to be kept down he reestablished his Shorthorn herd again and again. He/they loved these animals. Through all their trials and tribulations including Jenny’s bouts with some serious illnesses Mark’s last fight is with prostrate cancer. It is only a matter of time now.
The 84 years old I’m delighted I’ve known such a man, woman, married pair who’ve never give up against the odds given them. When these two find peace, they’ll have set some, standard’s, examples earning it.
I lift my tea cup to both Mark and Jenny, the never say die remarkable lives they’re still living. Bless them both for showing some of us how it’s done.
Going on Noon. I been outside, plugged in the 4-180 for an after dinner hopeful start, gassed the 4010 with three five gallon cans (upper body muscle development), been to elevator for supplements, and did the day’s chores this end our road. Going to be fun, fun, fun, this afternoon, getting plugged in tractor and grain grind equipment out in the snow. But, have got to get that grain supply wagon out of the lower drive first so’s to grind.
Have had lunch and visited Facebook approving a whole list of folks as i-net friends. I even invited them to look me up here. I should imagine there’ll be a whole lot of abandonment’s coming or going any moment or if they stay it out some will be later…. Hey, I gotta go…. Later.
It’s later.. Two and a half hours or so later.
Temps at 27* I climbed aboard the 4-1810 ant it started right up in only in only three or four revolutions. As if it had been sitting the sun on a Miami beach. Running I let it run while I rolled up 200 feet power cord and wrestled the charger back down into the barn. Had to bring empty box home. By time I got back the 4-180 had quit smoking blue. Tom assisting he pinned the full box to the 4-180 my backing it down to it. That tractor didn’t so much as spin a wheel crushing three foot snow drifts, the plowed and packed snow banks, as if they never existed. Well, the grain’s ground and everything almost put away. The 4020 isn’t running worth a hoot. Replacing the spark plugs did little for it. Going to check the distributor in a few moments after it has cooled down. My hope, a shot of WD40 will make fix the distributor. I’ll see. Rat now, it’s afternoon tea time without shortbreads. Anyone for a gingersnap?

1 comment:

Paula said...

No thanks on the gingersnaps, don't like them at all. Now chocolate or nuts thats a different story. Hats off to your friends who made it through thick and thin.