Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It has been a long time.

As you know, I make lists.  I like lists.  They sort of keep me organized.  Or, at least they help me remember all the things I haven't done yet.  Every list consists of three elements.

1.  The things you know you have to do.
2.  The things you want to do.
3.  The things that are unexpected, can not be ignored, and immediately move to the top.

Guess which one always ends up last on the list?

Go ahead.  

Sunday's list was relatively short.  Only because I had moved a lot of things to Monday, but that is beside the point.  It went like this.

1.  Clean the barn.
2.  Switch the horses out.
3.  Empty the totes from the local coffee shop into the compost bin.
4.  Move some nesting boxes in the chicken coop.
5.  Hang a heat lamp in the coop for the girls.
6.  Make a trip to the local home improvement store.

What happened did not go this simply.  We headed to the barn, and when I went out to get the wheel barrow, I noticed that some cows in the back of our pasture were thinking the grass looked greener on our side of the fence.  So much so, that one of them had pushed her head over the fence, and then managed to push the wire down.  When I saw her, she had broken one post, and was on her way in.

Change of plans.

I grabbed the post driver, and my Full-Timer grabbed a t-post and some bailing wire.  We actually had this problem a couple of weeks ago, and I called the man that owns the cattle.  He came out, did some work, and left.  After taking a look at what he had done, I knew our problem wasn't over, but I had know idea that it would be back so soon.

Once we got back there, the cows left.  We didn't have a bag of feed, so they were not interested.  Their muscle stayed behind to supervise us.

These girls were actually a pain.  They wanted to bite our hands as we worked, and when that was no longer a fun game, they chased the cat around.  He was on their side of the fence, and they were quick to let him know they did not like it.

After really looking at the situation, the gentleman who had done the previous fence repairs, must have had some vision issues because the two t-posts he drove in the ground to support the fence were not even all the way in.  He also didn't pull the wire back up on the posts before he wired it.  

Not naming any names, just calling things like I see them.

Our first task was to undo what he had done, and fix it.  It really was easy enough to drive the posts in a few more inches and pull the wire up and re-attach it.  The wooden post that Miss Daisy pushed over also seemed easy enough to deal with.  The plan was to upright the post, drive a second post in the ground, and wire the two posts together.  My Full-Timer handed me the t-post that she had grabbed, and we put it in position.  I did notice that it seemed a little on the short side, but what we were using it for, it didn't matter.  At this point, we sort of discussed the other repairs we had to make, and I sent my help back to the barn to grab a few more t-posts.  She turned to head back, and I started driving the post in the ground.

For those of you who have never had the good fortune to drive a t-post in the ground...

This is a t-post.

This is a post driver.

You slip the driver over the post and use the handles to drive it into the ground.  It is loud.  Nothing like banging metal on metal, and I would guess the driver is around 20 lbs. or so.

Any questions?

If you notice on one end of the t-post, there are some side thingies that have to go in the ground.  

Yes, "side thingies" is a technical term.

Those things should not be above ground.  It may help to know that the post in the picture is upside down.

Got it?

You'll be driving posts in the ground before you know it.

Okay.  Now that we are all caught up.  Full-Timer turns to go get more supplies.  I start driving the post in the ground.  I began making progress, but not wanting to do anymore than I absolutely had to, I kept glancing down at the ground to check my progress.

Remember the side thingies?

Never in a million years could I have predicted what would happen next.  I was repeatedly raising the driver and pulling it back down with as much force as I could.  All was going well, except for one fatal mistake.

Well, near fatal...

Public Service Announcement:  When in the process of driving a post in the ground, if you should decide to look down to assess your progress, you should stop driving the post.

As I glanced down, I was in the process of lifting the driver.  Remember the post was shorter than usual?  As I brought it back down, it caught on the edge of the t-post at the top.  This caused the driver to tip in my direction, but still not realizing what was happening, I was on the downward stroke.


The driver then hit me on top of the head.  It was one of those moments where everything slows down.  It came down on my head, not knowing what was hitting me on the head, my first reaction was to grab my head.  Which I did.  Thus letting go of the driver, which then bounced off of my head and fell behind me.  The force of the driver hitting my head made my teeth chomp together so hard, I can not even explain that sensation.  I did not scream.  I know I made a sound, but it was more of a low, uugghhh!  At the same moment, the driver bounced off my head, I grabbed my head, I made this foreign uugghhh sound, and spun around.  I remember each thing individually, but they really happened at the same time.

As I was spun around by the force of the blow, I could see my Full-Timer walking away, but could not make a sound.  It was at this moment that I began to be concerned about my teeth.  I have spent some money on some dental work recently, and immediately began checking to see if I had broken anything.  Luckily everything was still good.  Then it dawned on me to be thankful that I am not one of those people that sticks their tongue out the side of their mouth when they work.  I am telling you, it would not have survived.

I think I just spent some time walking in circles until my help returned.  I am not really sure to tell you the truth.  One look and she knew something had happened.  I started trying to explain it all to her, and of course she was laughing, asking questions about my condition, but still laughing.  I kept checking my head at this point because I was sure there would be a big knot rising up at any moment.  I hoped so at least.  See, I raised my kids during an era when we didn't put every pad known to man and a helmet on them before they went outside to play.  The rule of thumb, as I remembered it, was if you take a blow to the head and got a knot on your head - no worries.  If you didn't get a knot on your head, the trauma was internal and you had a problem.

Amazing they survived, huh?

I decided that we should get back to work.  We only had half the job done, and I did not want to walk back to the house and take a break.  Mostly because I knew I wouldn't want to come back later and finish it, and  I was anticipating a headache.  Things sort of got funny at this point.  My Full-Timer kept trying to take tools away from me, but my thought process was that one of us needed to remain healthy and coherent.  Trying to focus, I kept trying to shake it off, but just kept hearing the same sound in my head...


Every time I heard it, I had to say it, which was followed by moments of cracking up.  The good news, we got the job done.  The bad news, no knot on my head.  I am sure that I have bruised something.  Something like my brain.  I find comfort in the fact that I stayed conscious, on my feet, and still knew my name.  By all accounts, if I worked for the NFL, they would have let me back in the game.  I will let you know if there are any lingering effects, but due to my normal mental state, it may be hard to tell.

No comments:

Post a Comment