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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Oct 21, 2011

Anyone looking inside the cab of my pickup is probably a little puzzled to see I have three different GPS units all mounted and working. Why would anyone need three GPS units at one time?

Besides my fondness for electronic gadgets, there are three of them because they are from three different manufacturers and each manufacturer has its own philosophy about how to give directions.

Yesterday, I made a trip to a place about 30 miles away and having the street address, I probably did not need the GPS device to get there. But I put the address in one of my pickup mounted units anyway.

I knew how I wanted to get to my destination and I wanted to learn if the GPS unit thought like I did.

It did not.

First, it wanted to get me to the interstate highway east of me a few miles when my destination was actually southwest.

At the first turn I was told to go east, but I went west. Then I was told to make a “legal u-turn” until a mile or so later it decided on making a new route. This happened several times along the way.

This is where my wife would say, “See, you can’t tell him anything. He asks for advice and does what he wants to do anyway. Three GPS units and he still picks his own route.”

That pretty sums up how I do most things.

I have my methods and my habits that I trust. They have gotten me this far in life; changing them now is not easy, and I am not interested in changing them anyway.

I also learned yesterday that taking the way the GPS unit thought had some logic to it, but was not logical to me.

Both the GPS and I were right. We would end up in the same place. It was our ways to get to the destination that was different.

Isn’t that what life is all about? We find our sources we trust for advice, but in the end, it remains our decision on how the best way to get to a destination or a goal is.

We are physically moving our house to a new location two miles northwest from where we are now. Next week is the actual move.

An early obstacle identified by the house mover was in the driveway between the house and road. The house was too wide to pass between the fuel barrels and an electrical pole.

I was hoping the fuel barrels that were on the ground were empty enough that I could push them back with the tractor and loader to widen the path.

Then my wife said, “Why not move the pole?”

It was like the sun bursting through the clouds. That was the answer.

It was so obvious. Why didn’t I think of that?

I had been looking at that pole for so many years, in my mind it was fixed in place and everything else had to move around it.

We have been driving around that light pole for years. It wasn’t a problem when that pole was put in place over 50 years ago when four-row equipment was common.

Equipment has gotten bigger and it had become an obstacle for almost everything.

That pole needed to be moved, house moving or no house moving. One afternoon a local man with the right equipment moved the pole easily aided by his son. We have a clear path.

See, I can take advice.

Fortunately, my wife spoke up with the obvious solution or I would be out there trying to move partially full and full fuel barrels, hoping I could get the job done without damaging anything.

And that lousy pole would still be in the way of the combine, the field cultivator, my son’s dump truck and trailer and about everything else we wanted to park next to the shop.

I am still going to trust my own instincts, but I will certainly surround myself with good sources of advice I trust, be it my wife, or the women I hear out of those three GPS devices.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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