That Might Be Good for Something Someday
If you’re a farmer, a farm wife or a farm kid you’ve probably said or heard “That might be good for something someday.” If my dad is the King of this phrase, my husband is the Prince. I wouldn’t call them hoarders but they’re borderline. We live and work on a farm that has been in my family for four generations. A lot of stuff has collected over the years. Some of it valuable and useful. Most of it, not so much. I will give them credit - my husband has built chicken coops and goat shelters out of stuff that’s just laying around. My dad can use old halters and rusted wire to fix miles of fence. But, most of the stuff laying around is Just. Plain. Junk. I’ve made it my personal mission to free the farm of said junk. I’m getting some resistance from the two farmers. What do you think? Is it treasure or is it trash?
An Old Truck Door
My dad’s old farm truck is affectionately named “Old Blue.” In typical farm truck fashion this thing is used and abused. Over the years the driver’s side door began to sag. The hinges became worn and the operation of the door became complicated. Toward the end of the truck door’s haggard life, one had to pull with all their strength to open it. Until one day, my husband pulled so hard the handle snapped off right in his hand. Finally, Blue got a new, mostly functional door fresh from the junkyard. A new white door so her name was changed to “Speck” to reflect her facelift. Fitting. The old broken blue door is now propped up in the barn. The entire plastic interior has been removed. The crank window knob was installed on the “new” door. The handle, just to remind you, is broken – it doesn’t work. At. All. So, naturally, I suggested moving it to the scrap metal pile. My husband and my dad looked at me incredulously. No, they said, we are going to put it in the loft because….wait for it…that old, broken, missing parts, hunk of junk…might be good for something someday.
Metal Watering Troughs
I know what you’re thinking. A metal watering trough is not junk. That is a vital piece of equipment. I agree. What about a rusted out, literally-falling-apart, trough with holes in the bottom? Not even holes, really. More accurately, large pieces of metal are missing from the bottom.
We have two of these jewels just outside our barn. And look, they’ve been used. They have watered cattle, sheep, horses, a miniature donkey and a pony. They have raised chicks and ducklings keeping their short-term residents safe and warm. They have held cans of Coca-Cola for family reunions. And cans of a different kind of beverage for late night bonfires. Now, though, the troughs barely have a bottom. I personally put both troughs in the scrap metal pile. I filled them with smaller pieces of scrap metal to discourage their rescue. My husband saw them there and gave me side-eye. When my dad discovered them he walked over, inspected the pile, but walked away without a word. Success! I did it! No lecture. No pulling the troughs out of the pile. No griping about how I throw away the good stuff. I was so proud of myself. I walked around like I had won the stock show.
Then the day came for my kids to begin raising chicks for a 4-H project. The kids and I picked up the chicks and brought them to the barn, eager to set up their new home. “Momma,” my son said. “Where will they live?” “We’ll find something,” I said, just in that moment remembering the troughs had gone to the scrap pile. Let me tell you I searched. I climbed in lofts, barns and sheds looking for an alternative home for the chicks. I even braved the basement. Nothing, y’all, I found nothing to house those birds. So, with a heavy heart, I emptied the troughs and pulled them out of the scrap pile. Even with the excited peeping of 30 sweet little baby chicks and two happy kids, I felt defeated. When my husband came in the barn I was ready for the I-told-you-so comment. He looked at the chicks, chatted with the kids about them and then looked at me with a big ol’ grin. I guess those troughs turned out to be…good for something someday. (But when the chicks moved out I still took them back to the scrap pile!)
Oh, So Many Pallets
Pallets. We have no less than 3 stacks of pallets on our place. Pallets come on to the farm fairly often holding tons of sacked feed. They are useful. Pallets keep the feed off the ground in a clean, dry environment. When the load of feed is gone the pallet moves to one of the stacks. A new pallet comes in with the new sacks of feed. These pallets drive me crazy! They need a purpose. I have Pinterest, so I’ll show my husband cute little pallet crafts. He mostly scoffs and rolls his eyes. I mean, we have real repairs and projects that need to happen, so to create a fence, a rake holder or outdoor kitchen out of pallets just ain’t gonna happen. Let’s burn them in a bonfire, I suggest. Invite the neighbors and have s’mores. Nope, the husband says, too many nails. We’d never get them all up. Do you want to change all the tires? Well no, that doesn’t sound like an activity I’d enjoy. What about kindling for the wood stove? Oh, yeah, back to the nails. To pull them out is pretty time consuming. Can’t just trash the pallets? Nope, because, you guessed it…they’ll be good for something someday.
Empty Mineral Tubs
Red, yellow, black we’ve got them all. Those empty mineral tubs are handy. We use them as water troughs, rain barrels, trash cans, junk bins, lamb beds, nesting boxes, you name it. But we don’t need hundreds. Seriously. We have a few stacks that are 4 or 5 tubs deep. They are stuck together. I mean stuck! Too much time has been spent trying to pull these things apart, brute strength, using air to break the seal, all kinds of little tricks that haven’t worked. I mean, stuck! I suggest we just get rid of them. I mean, we’ll have more the next time the cattle or sheep eat all the mineral. But, nope, can’t get rid of the stuck together, not being used tubs. As you might have guessed…They might be good for something someday.
These are just a few of the items around our farm that I believe should find another place to live. Like, perhaps, the dump! What “Good for Something Someday” items do you have on your farm?