Friday, October 23, 2009

The Farrier

I was doing fine until I found the shoeing box.

Mom, my brothers, Jenny, and I were cleaning up to make a dump run.

It started with Dad's broken recliner, comically (because Mom got stuck behind it) shoved into a walk-in closet in order to make room for his hospital bed. My brothers quickly agreed to haul it to the dump so Mom wouldn't have to deal with it.

Might as well fill up the truck, right?

The chair was soon joined by a broken chest of drawers, now holding nothing but rodent droppings. The old, bottomless burn barrel could go, and we needed a box for the shovels of broken glass it left behind. Where could we find one?

Off to Dad's shop. A box was indeed found, but then began a series of events much like the ones recorded in the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" story. One thing continually led to another!

Might as well get the trash off the tool bench. . .

I could clean out this area . . .

Soon, all five of us were tossing out bucket after bucket of odds and ends; cut pipes, scrap wood, scraps of carpeting, and anything else we didn't think Mom could use, give away, or sell.

My 23 years with Himself made me a poor judge of what was valuable and what needed to be tossed; I left that to Mom and my brothers because I would have tossed entire boxes instead of going through them. We did end up filling two truckloads and hauling it off.

Some treasures we found were the various tools that Dad would make for himself.

He'd need something for a one-time purpose, make it from a piece of metal or horse shoes, or horseshoe nails, baling wire, foam, wood, whatever, then he'd keep the tool "just in case" he needed it again.

We had more fun trying to figure out what he needed it for, though sometimes Mom could give us a clue!

See the ropes? This was just three of many hooks holding stacks of ropes. A cowboy can never have enough ropes.

Or horseshoes.

When a cat wandered into his shop and had kittens, Dad built this threshold to keep them from wandering out and becoming coyote chow.

He really was a softie when it came to animals. He couldn't stand to see an animal starve. Many times I'd watch him sneak food to a malnourished dog that lived next door to us. It was as natural to him as feeding our own animals and simply became part of his feeding routine.

Everything was stored in coffee cans and labeled, but he'd have three cans for the same thing.

Cans and cups were screwed directly to the wall.

Long nails were hammered into the end of the tool bench, then bent to make a holder for a screwdriver, or hammer, or pliers.

Overwhelmed with the monumental task, I finally used the same method I used for the children's bedrooms. I grabbed a broom and began in one spot along the wall. I'd throw out the trash, then I'd shove everything else to the center of the room for Mom and my brothers to sort. I worked my way around the shop and then headed out to the covered area where the trucks were parked. Using the same method. I worked my way down the line of tools, tanks, saddles, and ropes.

When my hand moved a saddle blanket tossed on a chair, I froze.

(To Be Continued . . . )

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