We needed to move a refrigerator, an old refrigerator from about 1954 that seemed to weigh as much as two men, up from the basement and outside.
To make the move easier, I got a two-wheel cart that originally was used for feed sacks to move the refrigerator from point A to point B.
The first problem was the refrigerator’s width so the door was removed from its hinges and a shield was removed from the back. Turning it sideways on the cart, it went through the doorway and across the basement floor.
Now we were at the foot of the stairway. My son was helping me and after some measurements we learned the corner of the basement where the stairway started up was too small.
A short section of the wooden hand railing was sawed off so we could lay the refrigerator down partially and slide it and the cart over to the bottom of the steps.
Now it was ready to begin its way up the steps.
That was when we realized this was a bigger job than the two of us. A trip to the shop gained us a come along to winch the refrigerator and a steel bar to put across the doorway to act as an anchor.
After breaking a steel cable once we started winching, we retrieved a chain off the tractor and loader that we attached the winch cable to the cart. Now we were underway up the steps.
Well, not quite because the curved handles of the cart and the wheels became barriers on each step so it was a matter of lift and crank quickly, lift and crank quickly, lift and crank quickly.
As we were struggling with the refrigerator, my son told me appliance carts were sold at our local farm supply store.
“Really?” I said. “I thought you could only borrow those.”
I got my attitude on borrowing from my dad. He rarely borrowed anything and if he did, it was from his brothers who farmed a couple miles away.
There were neighbors who shared more than my dad and his brothers.
As a result, between the two farms there were two complete sets of everything from silage chopping equipment to hand tools.
When one farm bought something, the other farm was likely to buy the same thing a few weeks later. It just worked better that way.
Neither borrowing nor loaning is encouraged on our farm. Every neighborhood has its local moocher who likes to borrow and when they finally return the item, it is either in several pieces or in need of repair.
Plus it seems to show up when nobody is home so the borrower does not have to face the owner of the item that was in much better shape when it left.
It is also put in a place where it won’t be noticed right away.
Reputations spread quickly and untrustworthy borrowers get placed on an unofficial neighborhood blacklist.
Names of these people are traded in quiet conversations between neighbors.
I believe it was William Shakespeare who said, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”
It is still true to this day; although with that attitude, Shakespear would have never had a career in the banking business.
We did get the refrigerator up the steps and out through the garage. It turned out to be a much larger job than I expected.
Yesterday I went to our local farm supply store and bought an appliance cart. It is sitting in the garage and, no, you can’t borrow it.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at email@example.com.
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