Monday, February 22

This past Saturday, after almost two weeks of being alone here with the kids, I got up before the sun and drove 2 hours to join my brother at a farm auction. It started early, and with the drive time, I had to get the trailer hooked up and be out of the driveway by 7 at the latest. Of course, as it always does, obstacles arose. It was bitterly cold that morning and promised to stay that way through the rest of the day, but I was bound and determined to get out of this zip code before I went completely crazy.

The trailer hitch was completely frozen to the ground and it took a few hits with the maul before it came loose. Then came the fun of getting it attached to the car and noticing it had a soft tire. This took time to re-inflate and then came the duct tape repair of one of the trailer tail lights which had been knocked loose when driving too close to the woodpile. By this time it was past 7:30 and I did not want to be driving faster than I should on snowy back roads.

I managed to meet my brother in time for the auction after a few hair raising near misses with guard rails and oncoming traffic. The route that I took was beautiful and I wished that I could stop and take some pictures. It was what I call the "Back Finger Lakes" - not the smoothly paved wine trail routes but the twisty back roads, some paved, some not, where you see more trees and Amish buggies than cars.

This particular auction required the trailer since my brother wanted to pick up some new fencing, some roofing and possibly a new tiller for the garden. It was a farm auction so there were many plows, implements, tractors and just about every type of equipment or tool you would need to raise any type of livestock, crop, or start your own salvage yard. I was there for the two very nice recurve bows that my brother had spotted at the pre-auction the day before and called me about.

I signed in for my bidding number - 46 - at the clerks table which was located in the garage on the property and staffed by some very nice Mennonite ladies in dresses, despite the 10 degree temperature. I soon realized two things - there are not very many women at farm auctions at 9am when the temperature is 10 degrees, and when you do go to an outdoor farm auction in 10 degree weather, you had better dress for it. I was one of 5 ladies in attendance, not counting the owners and the Mennonite ladies at the clerks table. And I was one of the two ladies not wearing Carhartt clothing. 

Looking over the attendees, which numbered around 300 and were 99% male, I felt like I was adrift in a churning sea of brown, black and camo Carhartts. There were some brave Mennonite men and boys in their black hats and wool coats, but it was mostly Carhartts and testosterone. 

I stood out from the pack wearing my Walmart black and yellow ski jacket and some black snow boots that were not as well insulated as I thought. Not even half way through the 5 hours of bidding, we were putting those air activated hand warmers in our boots and gloves.

We froze, and we did not get the bows or the roofing or the tiller. We did get some fencing and some nice outdoor wooden benches, plus some farming odds and ends. The most fun part for me was listening to the conversations of the other attendees. Mostly farmers and Mennonites and quite a few people were speaking what I think was German.

It took about an hour of standing in front of the wood stove at my brothers farm before I could feel my toes again and before I made the trip home but it was still a great day in my book.

Next up.... seed starting time, property updates and tree orders

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