Friday, April 20, 2012

lost in service to the cause

100-year-old tools aren't going to last forever, but when they die in service to their cause I feel good about it. Here I am holding up the two broken pieces of a singletree that (pre Jasper and Merlin) decorated the side of the farmhouse when I moved in. It was just one of many weird agricultural relics the Millers found around the property and barn and used as decorations in their remodeling project of the 1860's farmhouse. Little did they know when they mounted it to the wall that some crazy lady would pry it off and use it on a cart pony...

While starting to ground drive with Jasper last summer Brett took it off the wall, set chains to it, and attached it to the pony's harness. I remember coming out of the farmhouse with a beer for each of us and asking where he found that ancient piece of horse equipment. He pointed to the wall of my side porch, where another, smaller evener was hanging right above it along with the wooden bones of a small horse collar. Oh. I grinned and felt silly. Here I was getting the first horse ready to work in probably 80 years on that farm and I didn't even realize the parts for the job were nailed to the wall. They just faded into the background, camouflaged by their inactivity.

Last weekend after the Shearing debacle, Jasper used this old evener to pull loads and loads of locust rounds out of the space that will be his and Merlin's new pasture. On on particularly heavy load Jasper pulled forward and the ol' girl just snapped. We rigged up another solution with chains to replace the weight distribution and set the old singletree in the grass to die in peace. But I went back and grabbed a hold of it. I was proud to see it move from tool to decoration and back to tool again. A good ending.

photo by melina smyres


Blogger becky3086 said...

Well, that's just too bad. I take it that it can't be fixed?

April 20, 2012 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Nah. It's a goner! All dry rotted and bug-holed up.

But it was too big for a little pony anyway, and I ordered a replacement sized one for twenty dollars from an online draft horse supply company.

April 20, 2012 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger Karen Rickers said...

That is a great hat!

Nice story about the tool, but the hat is what catches my eye.

I had the perfect hat, and lost it on the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) when traveling in France. It was great to be in France, but I still mourn the loss of that hat!

April 20, 2012 at 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna you're looking smaller to me.

April 20, 2012 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

theres the hat! order one!

April 20, 2012 at 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonder if some craft person might glue that back together, fill in rotted away parts with some other materials - enough for the right look and hang it back on the wall. Just pondering.

April 20, 2012 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Now it can go back to being a decoration again. :)

April 20, 2012 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Don't you just love old, aged farm tools? I've always been attracted to them. I vote for filling in and reattaching to the barn.

April 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

Save the dead pcs find a wood worker (furniture builder) copy the broken wood and transfer the old iron over to it. Ash wood perhaps?

April 20, 2012 at 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am still using the tools my great-great grandpa used here on the property. They aren't ancient, but they are close to it. When they break, they become an adornment for the garden fence or woodshed. I love the memories attached to them.

April 20, 2012 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

That was my thought. Throw the whole thing into the next bonfire to burn out the old wood and put the steel on some new stock. They don't make steel like that any more.

April 20, 2012 at 11:33 PM  

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