“Oh?” I questioned, “How so?”
“My brain is worth $20,000 and yours is only worth $100.”
“Why is that?” I queried, hoping that he would say that mine was used so I could exploit the comment.
“Mine is much newer,” he explained, “and yours is really old.”
DANG! There is a distinct difference between “old” and “used” and the difference does not work in my favor.
This week my brain is old and my muscles are used…and old.
Wednesday Grace took the farm—two pigs, three sheep, five hens—to Ogden Prep where she spent the day teaching sixth and seventh graders about livestock and 4-H. To get the animals to the school, I had to carry the two pigs 100 meters uphill to the trailer. I did not think I would make it with the first pig and I did not make it with the second pig—had to stop twice to rest. My arms are still sore. Used. And old.
At the end of the school day, we loaded the animals back into the trailer. Without thinking, I loaded the ewe before loading the lambs. Without thinking (I am confident that sheep do not think) the two lambs jumped our makeshift fence and were loose in the OPA parking lot.
Not good. Lambs are wild and wily; they have a natural distrust of humans that time and exposure to grain has not yet had a chance to mitigate. We had no fences. There were cars everywhere. And there were only two of us within miles who knew anything about livestock. It was a true disaster in the making.
I am not sure how it happened; I am not even sure I can describe what happened. (But I know Who happened.) One lamb leapt past Grace and she snagged it in midair. The second lamb stopped almost in midstride and watched me quizzically as I grabbed it and put it in the trailer. Saturday it took me three attempts to catch the same lamb in the corral, surrounded by a fence and backed into a corner. Catching those lambs in an open parking lot was truly miraculous.
Wednesday night... It was 9:30 p.m. and very dark, when I finally had time to return Dad’s horse trailer to his neighbor’s pasture in West Point. The trailer had to be returned that night because I had a Relief Society activity at our home the next evening and needed the parking places the trailer would occupy. I could not return it the next day during the day because I had to work. Wednesday night it had to be.
Lance was helping Grace with homework, Miles was bed bound, and Tanah was gone so it was just the truck, the trailer, and Teresa (me). Being more than a little tired I was half way to Syracuse Arts Academy before I realized that I wanted to go to my parent’s house. Having passed the road to their home a couple of miles back, I turned on the next large-looking road headed west.
The road became less large and soon there were no street lamps. I was almost on top of the Road Closed sign before I could read it. Stopping a truck and trailer is not a quick thing and I did not do it. Sure that there would be a detour option, I continued.
I continued until I reached the road block. There was no detour option and there was nowhere to go. I stopped there, in the middle of the road, in what seemed like the middle of the night, and in what I knew to be the middle of a big mess.
I do not back trailers. I have tried, unsuccessfully, several times. When I attempt to back a trailer, there is a guaranteed outcome…and it is not pretty. Every time, without fail, I jack-knife the trailer. The vehicle I am driving and the trailer I am attempting to back end up at 90 degree angles to one another. Every time.
I was in an unfamiliar neighborhood. The sky was overcast and there were no street lamps so I had no light by which to see, either artificial or natural. The late hour and the fact that I did not really know where I was made me reluctant to call someone. What to do?
First thing: Do not panic.
Second: Do pray.
Third: Move forward (or backward as the case may be…) in faith.
Having no other viable option and wanting to get home before sunrise, I started to back up, slowly, oh SO slowly. Unable to see much more than the backup lights of the trailer, I proceeded with caution, hoping that I was indeed in the middle of the road and that there were not any obstacles in my direct path.
I had to have a large (very large) area in which to turn around and was hoping for a wide cross road. It was so dark that I could not see any, though I knew they existed. I backed up slowly, almost blindly, hoping that somehow I would be able to find a cross road though I could see nothing.
I’d backed about two and a half blocks when a car approached from the rear. I stopped, waiting for it to pass. Instead of passing, it turned on a cross road just a couple yards from the back of my trailer. Its headlight illuminated the road long enough for me to see where it was. Somehow (I think my guardian angels were working overtime) I managed to turn the trailer enough to back into the cross road but not enough to jack knife it. It was truly a miracle.
The adventure was not over. Dad’s neighbor’s pasture was also pitch black. I could not see where I needed to put the trailer, ended up swinging too wide, and found myself, again, in a position where I needed to back the trailer. Emboldened by my recent experience, I tried backing it in. I was emboldened but not empowered. Very quickly I had the trailer hopelessly jack-knifed. There was no way I was going to be able to put that trailer where it needed to be.
Dad has good neighbors. At ten o’clock at night I knocked on Alan Ormond’s door. He was at home (he is an EMT and works 24 hour shifts) and awake (another miracle). Within minutes he had the trailer backed into position, we unhooked it, and I was on my way home.
At day’s end I felt very used…..and old…..and loved. Thank you Heavenly Father!
Sure love you!