If any of you have ever owned a horse, you know what a barn sour horse is. Itís a
horse that has become accustomed to the easy living at the barn, being brushed, fed,
watered, allowed to nap any time, and that horse just plain olí doesnít want to leave the
barn. You get on him to go riding and as you leave the barn, he either cuts a fuss and
refuses to leave or uses passive resistance by weaving around, not able to walk a
straight line, etc. Unless, itís back to the barn and then he walks a strong straight line.
Well, Saturday was an unbelievable day. It was time to go pick up our goat feed. We
buy a ton at a time plus other odds and ends and extras. We get it mixed at a feed store
an hourís drive from our farm. If you wait until Saturday to just show up and give them
your order, you could have a three-hour wait. All the farmers in the area have shown
up precisely 6 seconds before you and already have their orders in and there you are
stuck with waiting.
I finally got smart and phoned in my order on Friday. That way it would be waiting by
the time we got there early Saturday morning. And, I told the nice lady on the phone,
we would be there bright and early Saturday morning. Saturday was going to be a
beautiful sunny day, perfect to build fence since we were in between hayings.
Feeling quite efficient, we started out early Saturday morning got half way there and the
truck started stalling out. Push on the accelerator and it stalled and white smoke would
poof out behind. It was a diesel, but our diesel never smoked the way you would see
other diesels around town smoking. But, it did have over 130,000 hard miles on it and it
was over 13 years old.
So, we turned around and crossed our fingers that we would make it home before it
totally broke down. On the way home, no problems. We decided to pick up some parts
at Advance and stop at mom & dadís house in town and work on the truck, then try
again to get the grain. We did that. Headed back out of town, halfway there, it started
stalling again. We turned back around to head to momís and dadís to work on the
truck. It did fine going back. We did this three times, going half way, having to turn
back and work on the truck.
It was starting to get late. The feed store closed early on Saturdays. They had our feed
on the dock waiting for us. Pressure was building. I checked around with everyone who
had a ton truck we might borrow to go get the grain. Everyone was on vacation! No
one home. Who goes on vacations? We canít even spell the word.
We decided the only thing to do was to get our old van (the Goat Mobile) and haul the
feed. Make two trips, one hour up, pick up half the feed, one hour back, unload the
feed, one hour up, pick up the feed, one hourÖ..well, you get the drift.
On one of the trips to get the grain I told Lee I knew what was wrong with the truck.
He was all ears. This was driving him crazy that he couldnít get it fixed in time for the
"The truck is barn sour," I announced. "But, I bet I can break it. When we drive it,
weíll bring it back and make it stand near the place it likes to be parked, but not let it go
there. Make it park in a new spot, not where it wants to go, where it is usually parked.
Weíll make it stay there a couple of hours. So, every time we come back, it doesnít
have something to look forward to. It wonít want to rush home," I said, proud of my
truck training logic.
Lee gave me a look.
Then, I brought up my second thought and broached the subject of a new truck. We
both had a stress attack over that thought and then carefully sneaked up on the idea. I
promised to check over the budget to see what kind of payments we could afford and
he said he would look at truck prices.
That evening, after a full day of going to get grain, I showed Lee my figurings. "If we
live on beans and venison for six years, not buy any new clothes, learn to use just one
light bulb in the house, this is the payment we could afford," I said, and I proudly
showed him the amount.
He then showed me the truck prices in the paper. I squawked. "When did trucks get
more expensive then the farm? Do we have to take a 20 year mortgage out on a truck?"
Besides that, the new trucks were embarrassing. What happened to good, rugged, one
ton, 4-wheel drives trucks? Trucks that were meant to be work horses for the farm. I
know itís been a good while since we first bought our truck, but geemaneee. They
made them sissy big things, downright prissy, not a macho thing about them to make
you think they would work hard for you.
Carpeting? Donít the truck people know about farms and mud and manure? Chartreuse
coloring with pin stripping? The animals would fall over laughing. On a hill farm, that
could be bad. I donít want a bunch of hurt animals.
Electric windows? What? Have we lost the muscle in our arms? A satellite tracking
system? Well, if you get lost on your own farm, you deserve to be lost. Air conditioning
that turns itself on when the cab hits a certain temperature? Youíre sitting in the house
eating supper and you hear your truck turn on because the poor wittle thing got too hot
outside and needed itís air conditioning. What a sissy.
Leather seats? I canít even afford leather gloves. Besides, everyone who owns a rugged
truck throws the western seat covers on the truck seats. Who would know you had
leather seats anyway?
Okay, I can see a radio. You need a radio to get those weather forecasts to see if you
are going to make it home with your load of hay before it rains. Maybe a cassette
player, because radio stations just donít play the good music any more. They donít play
bands that rock like the Gospel Trio or Riders in the Sky.
Electric power locks? What, you are afraid one of the goats is going to go for a joy ride
and youíd better keep your prissy truck locked up on the farm? Oh, you say when you
go to town you donít want anyone stealing your farm truck? Anyone crawls into our
truck, to steal it, deserves what they get. Open the door and the strong odor of farm
comes rolling out, along with empty Pepsi cans, hay ropes, pieces of hay, goat berries,
empty grain sacks, halters, ropes. And, if they see the elasticator lying on the seat, Iím
sure the truck thief will quietly slip away, hoping the owner wasnít anywhere close by.
Our old beat up farm truck would be ashamed and humiliated to be parked by these
new wussy trucks that called themselves trucks. Itís all these options thatís driving the
truck prices up, I figured out. Letís see what I can do if I call one of these truck
I put in the call; told the fellow I wanted a one ton, 4-wheel drive truck. He was
absolutely thrilled. I could already hear him tapping on his calculator, dollar signs
dancing through his head.
"Well, little lady, what kind of options are you looking for?" he purred.
I said, "A steering wheel would be nice." There was long silence at the other end of the