Guest Post by Hardscrabble Farmer
I finished up a small post and beam project that I had been working on for the past couple of weeks. The following day the temperatures, which had been hovering around zero all week, suddenly rose with a front bringing a hard day of mid winter rain with it. The ground was frozen and the water, unable to percolate, gathered in pools and ran in streams down every hill and gully. I decided to take a day and pull my shop back into shape, to maintain the tools and equipment that I had been using and return them to their rightful place.
My oldest son had been working on a boat and took the rain day to give me a hand. And so, after we finished chores we went into the garage barn and set to work. No matter how often I try to maintain some sense of order and discipline with the various aspects of the farm, things get out of hand and I have to devote a full day just to get back to a starting point. There are always extra five gallon buckets- we use them for everything from picking up slops from local restaurants to storage for lengths of chain, extra nails from a split box, used baling twine, rock salt for the ice, potting soil mix, etc.
Their utility is exceeded only by their ubiquity and in virtually every corner of the barn we pull the buckets to the center of the room and dump them, one by one of their contents and file through the mix of hardware and brushes, tools and electrical parts, winnowing out the garbage and cast offs from the useful and the utile. My son takes charge of organizing the chain saw room under the stairs, lining up the bar chain oil totes and fuel cans, the accessories and kevlar armor we wear hung on their hooks, sharpening the chains to a razor edge and sheathing each bar before returning them to the shelves. The helmets hang next to the choker chains and peaveys, the old military ammo cans with their water tight seals filled with coiled rope and cable, files and keels in coffee cans on the in their cubbies and the extra bars and chains hung by size on hooks.