After the war my father left factory work to pursue his dream of farming. Growing up on a general farm in the 50’s was a great place to learn life lessons. Working alongside your father every day that you weren’t in school didn’t hurt – unless you screwed up really bad – then it might hurt.
I have a few scars, each with a tale to tell. “Don’t use that jackknife like that, you’ll cut yourself!” What does your father know when you know it all?
I have a scar across my knuckle where I almost severed the tendon! He was right. It was several years before I could close my fist completely – I administered my own physio therapy clenching and unclenching my fist whenever I walked anywhere.
“Don’t use that chisel like that, you’ll cut yourself”. See above. I have a scar across my thumb, index and middle finger – he was right, as usual.
“Don’t overload that wheelbarrow, you’ll slip and fall” See above. I was what they now call a ‘tween’ and I was flexing my muscles. Our cattle were in stalls all winter and one of my chores was to load the manure onto a wheelbarrow and run it out into the manure pile in the barnyard – before school in the morning and after school in the evening. To keep it interesting I would pile the wheelbarrow higher with every trip.
Ignoring the sage advice from my father, I loaded a monster load. My greatest challenge was about to commence. I spit on my gloves, lifted the handles with a mighty effort, leaned into the load – and my feet slipped out from under me! I pivoted on the handles and went down – face first – into a wheelbarrow load of fresh cowshit!
A face full of fresh natural fertilizer is a humbling experience. Your father laughing uproariously at the spectacle of his son brown faced with a trickle of blood running down his chin only intensified the humility. I have a little scar on my lower lip as a daily reminder that pride does goeth before a fall!