The Most Fun Thing We Did

5 Dec

LIFE ON THE FAMILY FARM UNDER AN OPEN HEAVEN

By: Tom Heck

The Most Fun Thing We Did

It never ceases to amaze me how sometimes my kids will say something out of the clear blue that totally surprises me. Such is what happened here a while back. I was working in the barn with Catherine one day when she asked me a question that caught me totally off guard. She said, “Dad, you know what the most fun thing was that we did here last summer?” I was busy working, not thinking about that at all. I had to stop and think a minute about her question. I could think up a number of possible answers: when we went fishing at the lake, or when we went to the park and saw all the wild animals in the zoo and played a game. I really didn’t know how to answer her question so after a minute I replied, “No, what was the most fun thing we did here last summer?” By turning the question back to her, I couldn’t possibly come up with the wrong answer! And it’s a good thing that I did because I would have never come up with the right answer. Age does bring some wisdom.

Her answer really surprised and blessed me. “You know those three weeks we spent fixing up that old chopper we bought? That was the most fun thing we did all summer long.” I was amazed at her answer. More fun than fishing or going to the park or playing some fun games? Absolutely Yes.

We had decided to buy a good used chopper to use for chopping corn silage in the fall. I wanted to buy one that was an older model so that it wouldn’t cost me a lot of money. I asked around and found a farmer that had one sitting in the back corner of his shed. Joshua and I went to look at it one day and made the mistake of not taking a flashlight with us. It was dark in the corner of the shed and hard to see it good. The farmer assured me it was in excellent working order. The price he was asking was a little on the high side I thought, but if it was as good as he said I thought it was maybe worth it, so I bought it.

He delivered it to my place on a Sunday afternoon and left. As the kids and I started to look it over, we were a little disappointed at its actual condition. I said to the kids, “Well, we bought it; we’ll have to do a little fixing on it.” In the middle of the summer we went to fixing on it. We started out replacing the roller chains on it and then we saw sprockets and gears that needed replacing. And yes, bearings too, along with other stuff that needed fixing or adjusting.

We started visiting our local implement dealership at least two or three times a week buying parts. Catherine and Joshua were by my side all the time helping me fix the chopper and buy parts. It was a little disappointing that we found so much wrong with the chopper, but we kept a good attitude and kept working on it as a team. The kids were eager to help me fix on it every day. It’s amazing how fast the barn chores got done on those days so that we could get at the chopper!

After three weeks, we had gone through the whole chopper and had it in good running condition. Except for one minor breakdown, it worked excellently for chopping corn that fall. We were all very pleased and smiling, especially after all the work and money that we had put in it.

Looking back on it, I’m glad that I bought the chopper, even though I spent more for it than I should have and it took more work and money than I had planned on to get it in good working order. But, when a dad can get his daughter and son saying, “That was the most fun thing we did all summer long.”, what for a price tag can you put on that? When they have big smiles on their faces afterwards over a job well done, what for a price can you put on that? When they comment on all the good corn silage that the chopper put up for our cows to eat, what for a price can you put on that?

The kids won’t remember how much I paid for the chopper or how much I spent in parts. They will remember how we worked together in love as a family fixing that old chopper up and doing an excellent job on it. Those are things that are priceless.

So parents, work with your kids, have them help you, they will learn a lot and you will too. You will all be blessed if you work together in love and harmony. Someday down the road when they say to you, “Dad, you know what the most fun thing was that we did last summer?” You may be shocked and very pleased at their answer, I know that I was.