Every day is a school day. Of that we on the Homestead have no doubt.
Sometimes circumstances conspire to ensure speedy, if slightly ham-fisted, acquiring of skills that become invaluable. Mastering the ability to successfully hammer in fence staples is a good example of this. A talent that had sadly eluded The Milk Maid despite a desperate desire to be able to play her part in the upkeep of the plethora of ramshackle Homestead fences, it took a home-alone discovery of a goat with her head through a hole the paddock fence, speedily ingesting the contents of entire bee garden, to unlock the mystery. Turns out it all comes down to putting the longer staple leg at the bottom and hammering like you mean it.
Other times, corners cut in haste, steps in methods discounted, or blind eyes turned to the tiniest of issues have a way of snowballing into disasters of such magnitude that lessons are not just learnt, they are burnt indelibly into the Homestead psyche. The one badminton shuttlecock not retrieved from the Homestead roof after a spirited Christmas Day tournament serves the as perfect example of this. This insignificant item slipped from the collective Homestead memory without a trace until it was retrieved from a guttering downpipe in the exceedingly early hours of the morning, during a violent August thunderstorm. Who knew that blocked guttering can make the rain cascade down the inside the window as well as the out?!
Today we learnt that we never did get round to replacing the rainy-day tarpaulin over the milkstand. When we appropriated it for the firewood seasoning area, milking season seemed such a long way away, and we could have sworn there was a spare one in the garage.
Nothing, not even a hearty downpour, is going to stop Geraldine from enjoying her breakfast but the mere centimetre of milk in the bottom of the billy has certainly taught us our lesson for today.
10 thoughts on “Today’s Lesson Learnt”
Oh I hear you on this one. My life, my farm, are full of examples such as the ones you’ve described. All those dreadful proverbs on the topic indicate however, that you and I are not the first, not by a long shot, to be learning through this particular school…a stitch in time saves nine, haste makes waste, look before you leap…all annoyingly true. And isn’t it depressing just how often these learning experiences seem to involve water or precipitation in the wrong places?
I hadn’t thought about it before, but you’re right! Barely a storm passes by without us being out in it, coats on over Pjs, hurriedly fixing some disaster. Nice to know we’re not alone 🙂
Do you know these words of Benjamin Franklin?
“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
Oh so true! I remember learning this at opawa primary school a great many years ago. I learnt the words but I’m still working on hammering those shoes on securely 🙂
I had no idea these were Benjamin Franklin’s words…I’ve always wondered. And oh so true they are.
This ex-urbanite, farmer-to-be is learning much from your posts. I tried to milk a friend’s goat last year & got looked at with disgust (by the goat) 😦
This made me laugh! Oh, do we know these lessons all too well!
You should have been a boy scout.
In desperate moments I call on a frightening hodgepodge of information gleaned from years of Baden Powell, Enid Blyton and Laura Ingalls Wilder 🙂
Thank you for sharing. Nice to know that I am not the only one who learns that way. 🙂