Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Disgusting Evening, But A Better Next Day

Yesterday, we decided to run up to Amish country today and needed to do a couple things first. The truck had set up a really bad vibration on the way home the evening before, but I couldn’t tell if it was caused by a rough road or if I had some loose lug nuts or something. So, I checked the lug nuts yesterday morning and found them all to be tight, so it must have been a bad section of highway. However, I did find that one of the nuts was missing.

So, when I was in town that morning to have the tire shop check the inflation and look for bulges (I can’t get up and down like I used to), I also stopped by the auto supply store and asked the boy at the counter what size I needed. He did an exhaustive search of the computer, cross-checked a couple things, stood on one foot while muttering some sort of incantation, walked over to a rack, picked up a pack of four and told they were what I needed. When I got home, I discovered that they were not.

In the early evening, we took a little ride and splurged and got a grilled chicken sandwich at one of the not-so-fast food joints for our pampered pooch. We wanted her to eat well that evening, since we knew that she probably wouldn’t eat anything on the road today. We were a mile down the road before we thought to check the sandwich, only to find that it was a cheeseburger with everything, and that it was SLATHERED in mustard. The pooch doesn’t like mustard. SO, we took the sandwich back and traded it for the correct thing.

Then, I took the lug nuts and the receipt back the auto supply store (Grammar Check says that I should put an “s” on either receipt or back. IDIOTS!). Another youngster checked the catalog and told me that he had no idea in the WORLD where the dayshift guy got that number. He walked over and pulled another pack off the rack, and we went outside to check them. Success! Next time, I’ll check any parts possible before I leave the parking lot. Lesson relearned.

Today, we had a pleasant but non-eventful trip to Amish country and back. It’s a little sad to see so many once beautiful farms on the way up growing weeds and brush, instead of the corn and cattle that I used to see. Oh well, I guess the rabbits and grouse will appreciate the change. Most of the corn was still unharvested on the way up, but a few fields had been started or finished. I saw no pickers at work though. The soybeans were mostly done, except for some really grey fields that were still standing. I did see one combine working the beans, though. It looks to me like the reel would be knocking the beans off into the field at that stage, but maybe not, since I’ve never run one of the beasts.

The Amish country that we once knew and loved is dead. The quaint little shops have mostly been replaced by mega-stores, and the local handmade items mostly replaced by knock-offs from China. Many of the northern Ohio folks who are bussed into the area from around the lakes probably don’t know hand-crafted stuff from assembly-line China crap, though, so they seem happy to be there. The old board walks are now concrete, and the Mennonite waitresses have mostly been replaced by “English” girls and women.

Still, it was a beautiful day, and some color remained in the woods. Also, there was enough farmland still in use in the Amish and Mennonite areas to make for a nice drive. We ate in a big restaurant that started out as a tiny little place when we first went there, but the food is still pretty good, and the waitress was nice. Neither one of us can walk like we used to and my wife was having a worse day than usual, but she managed to hit her favorite places.

Our memories were stirred at one place, when we SMELLED a barn being cleaned out, though we didn’t see either the barn, or the field where the manure was being spread. AGED cow manure has a smell all its own, as do pig, horse and chicken “leavings.” My wife and I have both spent enough time on the clean end of a manure fork to tell the difference.

We left in the early afternoon, when many folks were still arriving. We got home long before dark, but we were just as glad to get there as we had been to leave. Even the mighty Dachshund seemed to enjoy the “big ride,” but she also seemed happy to get home. Things may not be the same up there, but they are what they and we both decided the trip was worth it. Maybe we can do it again in the spring. © 2016


Sixbears said...

Sometimes I wonder if I just focus on the bad changes and ignore the good ones. All I know is that things sure are different.

There's an auto parts store near me that I rarely go to. It's my fourth choice. Once in a great while they just happen to have something the others do not. When I go there I try and get one of the women who work there to wait on me. All the females know their stuff or will find the right answer if they don't. The guys there are all arrogant and dumb at the same time.

Gorges Smythe said...

A lot of guys are like that, I'm sorry to say, Sixbears, especially young ones.

deborah harvey said...

just read the autobiography of a woman in her 70's who became amish.
i wonder at the number of people leaving being amish, but there is no compromise.
if you want to have little leisure and can find a job off the farm you may risk of not meeting all the standards. a little electricity to run the washer is better and less noisy than those gasoline washers. she spoke of getting ill from breathing the fumes on wash day. a bit of adaptation without being corrupted would be a good thing.
the lady spoke of how the art of farm chores was being lost. there is hands on learning that you cannot get any other way.
we will need some of that knowledge one day or the necessary work will be neglected and starvation may result. just to make enough food for one season is overwhelming and if there are a couple of bad harvests it is all over without outside employment.
since so much factory work is gone now, there may be no more amish in those areas since they need to make a living.
my husband has been going to the 2 week teenage church camp for over 35 years. what i noticed over the decades is that all the apple orchards are turning to weeds.
the apple juice in the camp cooler is 'product of china'. i wouldn't touch it for fear of poison.
there are no more sheep and few cattle or horses except near the amish.
it is too hard to make a living off of farming anymore so some houses are empty and the fields are overgrown.
of course, as you say, there will be deer and grouse if we need meat.

Gorges Smythe said...

Those deer, grouse and rabbits won't last long, dh.

Ralph Goff said...

Its good to hear that somebody else still knows what a manure fork is. And what it is used for. Talk about a lost art.

Chickenmom said...

Lots of abandoned farms here in our neck of the woods, too. Some of dairy farmers are getting into beef cattle, too. See plenty of Angus and Herefords mixed in with the Holsteins.

Gorges Smythe said...

The problem that I encounter, Ralph, is that no-one seems to make hay forks anymore. I can still find manure forks, though half of them aren't worth carrying home.

I'm seeing more of that up in Amish country too, Cm.