It is a widely acknowledged fact that the surest way to a man's heart is through his stomach. But there are other things that sets the old ticker to palpitating. Especially if he is a country farmer.
First came the stock trailer. We had an old horse trailer, but it was narrow and difficult to load many sheep into, so Greg had a friend custom build a cage for our trailer. It is just the very thing to haul sheep, or a nice fat pig to butcher.
Then came the tractor. We inherited my Dad's old 8N Harry Ferguson, but it reached a point where it needed a mechanic to keep it running and we had to part with it. For years we traded work with our neighbor so we could borrow their tractor for our own use, as we were unable to afford another one. Then our dear neighbor had a debilitating stroke, and we were offered that very tractor by them.
Next item on the wish list was a tool shed. We did a lot of looking and finally chose one made by a Mennonite family. If you want a big ticket farm item, it pays to buy quality.
What is it with men and pickup trucks? A woman will 'moon' over a new dress, great shoes, stylish handbag, diamonds, or a classy car, but show a man a pickup truck of any vintage and he will start to drool. We looked long and hard for an fordable pickup truck with low mileage that had been well cared for. Greg's Dad solved the problem by selling us his, so he could buy – you guessed it, a new pickup truck.
And now has come the chainsaw. This is a standard necessity for any farm. Greg has been through several of these which have not lasted but a couple of years each. And as with the tool shed, we decided if we wanted something that would last, we had to go with quality. Top of the line quality is anything made by Stihl. Top price too. So I began to squirrel back a little here and there planning to take him to Lowe's for Christmas and let him get that premium chainsaw. But God's blessings continue and our neighbors decided to sell their 10 year old Stihl as they have hired a firm of landscapers and have no more need for their own chainsaw. So, once again, we could afford a premium used item.
Greg was like a child with a new toy. Even after sitting idle for 10 years, the saw started up first tug on the cord. He cleaned it, oiled it, put in fresh gasoline, and began trimming trees. He spent three hours wondering around the property looking for things to cut. I don't think he's had so much fun in years.
There is another old adage I've often passed along to new brides. You get your first child when you say “I do”. He comes fully grown with very expensive toys. And I wouldn't have him any other way.