June 9, 2009

I admit it. I have wood lot envy.

I drive by farmsteads and there in the wood lot or on the edge of the farmstead stands lines of old implements, carcasses of tractors and cars.

I can sense that inside the outbuildings–no longer used for livestock or crops–there are piles of old appliances, tools, boards and barrels.

No longer needed, busted or in some cases collected by the owner at various farm sales and auctions, they just sit there…until needed.

What some see as a pile of trash, I see as a trove of treasure and a source of envy.

For nearly half of my married life, I moved from place to place as jobs demanded. There was little opportunity to hold on to things, and each move necessitated a fresh look at “collected” artifacts and the value of retention.

Even after staying put for the past 13 years, my treasure trove is distressingly small.

Troves are Valuable
Such collections are not built up quickly. In fact, they are best handed down from one generation to another, or at from least one landholder to the next. Thus the envy; for having grown up on a farm, I know the value of such troves.

When an extra board or post is needed to patch a fence or wall, perhaps a bit of tin to cover a hole or even an axle for a cart, they are at hand, easy to access.

When you have to stop and drive to the nearest town to buy new, it takes something (aside from the lost time and out-of-pocket cost) away from the project at hand. However, being able to recycle things that were thought to have no value adds value to the entire effort.

So the next time you consider clearing out those old posts or calling the salvage truck for that worn out plow in the fence line, stop and think about it. They might be just what you need for that next project or timely repair.

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