One of Those Days

6 Aug

LIFE ON THE FAMILY FARM UNDER AN OPEN HEAVEN
By: Tom Heck
One of Those Days
We all have days once in a while where it seems if something can go wrong it does. And it just isn’t one thing that goes wrong; it seems that they just pile up! I had one day like that a while back here. We were starting to cut a new crop of hay on this particular day. I had my 1206 Farmall tractor sitting in the shed in front of the tractor that I had my discbine hooked up to. The plan was to drive the old dependable 1206 out of the shed and put it on the blower for filling the silo with the hay I was about to cut. The tractor started right up and I drove it out of the shed and turned it to head to the silo. I was turning it right in the middle of our drive way when I saw that the front wheel was almost ready to fall off. I quickly pushed in the clutch and stopped. In my many years of running tractors, I never had anything like this happen.
My kids came to see why I had stopped the tractor right in the middle of the driveway. We were all shocked to see the wheel almost ready to fall off. Joshua asked me, “What do we do?” I replied, “We have to get it fixed so that we can move it out of the way; our milk hauler can’t even get up to the milkhouse to get our milk.” With that we went and got a bunch of tools out of our shop and went to work on it. The inside wheel bearing was chewed up into an innumerable number of pieces. The outside wheel bearing was still good. By running the tractor like this over time, it had put a lot of pressure on the pack nut holding the wheel on. Over time, the threads on the spindle which hold the pack nut on stripped half off. Then the cotter pin that goes through the pack nut and spindle sheared off. The end result was my wheel falling almost off on this particular day. On this day when I really wanted to go at haying! Surprisingly the tractor had run really nice with the inner wheel bearing out until this day.
Once we had it apart, I headed for the phone to call my local machine shops to see if they had the bearing I needed. To my astonishment, they didn’t have it. I turned to my family and said, “What do we do? We can’t go at haying with the tractor setting there and our milk hauler can’t even get in here to get the milk.” With that we started to pray for wisdom in what to do. With that an idea came to my mind. Our neighbors up the road have a large front end loader, so I decided to call them and see if they could bring it down and lift the front end of my tractor up and push it out of the way. I figured we could fix it later on after haying. The idea would have probably worked, but my neighbors were gone for the day.
So we were back to square one again, what do we do? Joanne kept praying while I started to make more phone calls. I finally located a bearing a fair distance away. I wanted to replace both bearings, but they only had the inner one. I asked him to hold it for me and with that we got into the car and went after it. Back home, we put the new bearing in and the used outer bearing. We greased them and tightened up the packing nut. But the packing nut wouldn’t tighten up it just started to jump the damaged threads on the spindle. Now what do we do? It seemed like it was impossible to get it fixed and out of the way.
I said to my family, “This is going to take a lot to get this fixed right and we don’t have the time or stuff here now to do it.” Catherine said, “Yes, but what do we do with this tractor in the middle of the driveway?” I replied, “We’ll put a new cotter pin through the packing nut and spindle. I think with those two bearings in the wheel and the pack nut on loosely, I can real slowly back it into the corner of the shed and park it there till we have time after haying to fix it right.” And that’s what we did.
By now it was late afternoon, and I finally headed out to the hay field just west of the barn. Was I ever happy to be finally cutting hay! The rest of my family headed to the barn to clean the gutters. I was just making my second round around the outside of the field when Catherine came walking out. On this particular day, I figured she wasn’t bringing good news. She told me the barn cleaner had broken. So, I stopped the tractor and headed for the barn. It took a little bit, but we got it fixed and running good again. I headed back to the hay field and started to cut hay again. By this time it was getting really late in the day and I ended up cutting just a few acres of hay.
It was time to get at the evening chores and to our surprise we had a real sick cow. I wasn’t expecting this at all, but a lot of the previous stuff in the day I hadn’t expected either. We ended up giving her an I.V. in her neck and praying for her. If we couldn’t pray, I don’t know what we would do! I’m so glad to have a Heavenly Father that answers our prayers. Well, we got our evening chores all done and called it a day.
Fortunately the following days went a lot better and we got our hay all off. The barn cleaner kept working well and our cow recovered. In time we got our 1206 fixed and running again.
Even though that day didn’t go at all as planned, we still had a good day working together as a family. We’ve learned no matter what comes our way, if we look to the Lord and rule our spirits we can and will overcome our adversities.

Tom Heck, his wife Joanne, and their two children, Catherine and Joshua, own and operate a 35 cow, 159 acre dairy farm in northwestern WI. Contact Tom at: lifeonthefamilyfarm@gmail.com Copyright © 2013 by Tom Heck. All rights reserved.

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