Going, going…SOLD!

September 23, 2012

Attending our first farm auction took ample preparation.  Both Number One son and my Loving Spouse were beside themselves that they had to work and miss the big (manly) event, so the Bride and I were slated to go and represent our family in the quest for a good ‘deal’, but only on stuff we ‘needed’.  I have a feeling that our men were both comforted and horrified at the prospect of our going off to an auction (over tools mostly) with bidder cards, cash and zero experience recognizing a great tool bargain when we saw one, even if it was a tool we might possibly (probably) own and not ‘need’ another of.  My Loving Spouse went as far as to give us a ‘bidding tutorial’ the night before, complete with the most appropriate method to nod one’s head at the Auctioneer, shake one’s head ‘no’ when done and how not to wave one’s bidder card around like a cat on a hot tin roof.  We practiced our nodding technique dutifully, because we were a bit anxious over making our first bid and because we had been served wine.

We women packed up carefully for our auction with thoughtful preparation.  Outfits comfortable enough to fit in with the farmers, but not too crummy, so that if we needed help lifting something heavy we’d be able to find a few strong willing men, ‘the’ list of  instructions from our spouses, bidder cards, wet wipes (in case the port-a potty was gross), and CASH.  We swapped vehicles, since we were looking to fit in and a farm auction is no place for a jaunty red Lexus, we needed to drive the truck.  Besides if we got ‘everything’ on ‘the’ list we’d use the full bed of the truck.  I drove in and looked like one of the gang, until I had to park.  Country men like to back their trucks into parking spaces, perhaps so that all the dogs left in the cab can look out the wind shield and catch the action.  I stood out as a woman driver as I zig-zagged our long bed truck in reverse across the field into a parking spot.  Once parked, we were ready, all we had to do was wait for the auction and hang on to our bidder cards with all the confidence of a first time traveler clutching their passport.

A farm auction is 98% tools or things with motors, so the crowd was 98% men.  Men with little sons, men with big sons.  Men in caps.  Men in hats.  A few men smoking and a few young men chewing (and spitting really far), yea that part was gross, but it is the price one pays and at least they all wear their pants were they were meant to go.

We were prepared to stick to ‘the’ list, after all we’d thought this through and figured it out.  It only required patience and a good nod, which luckily for us we’d been practicing.  We did great with our plan, up until the time the auction actually started and while our first bids/victorys/ ‘Sold’!s were not exactly on ‘the’ lists, they were a great ‘deal’!

We got good at our ‘nods’ and the truth is that the bidding was thrilling and fun  A bit like being at an amusement park, with a lot of waiting interspersed with an exciting ride then more waiting.  I only got carried away once…  I’d decided the nicest looking saddle was going to go for more money than agreed upon on ‘the’ list, so I’d bid on my second choice.  Well, after being the winning bid on the second choice saddle, I was under budget and feeling a bit high with my ‘win’.  I started bidding on my first choice saddle.  (At this point we  have one saddle at home, one saddle I’ve just bid on and won, one more I’m bidding on), oh, and we currently only have one horse that can be ridden.  This is just bad math.  In my defense… it was a really, really pretty saddle.  Luckily, I ‘came to’ in time and did the head shake ‘no’ I’d been taught in our tutorial.

My Loving Spouse is delighted with a planer I scored for him.  I did go over ‘the’ list’s budget for this, but only a bit and besides, he is really worth it.  The planer is and I quote him, “A beautiful old piece of machinery”.  I’m happiest with the antique bed that I practically stole, as the other 98% of the bidders were taking a quick break as they’d finished auctioning diesel barrels and hadn’t started auctioning heavy machinery.

We left the auction exhausted, happy and invigorated to experience something new.  Satisfied with how we’d done with ‘the’ list and smugly delighted with our bidding ‘nod’.






Second Chances

September 17, 2012

Number One Son called yesterday and we chatted about the farm auction we are going to and no, they don’t auction the farm, they auction the stuff from the farm, tractors, trucks, fence posts, tools, so it is a second-hand sale.  The auctioneer has a very cool website with lots of pictures of the treasures.  Since I recognize most of the tools as being just like the ones in my Loving Spouse’s workshop, I doubt that many of these treasures will move from the ‘want’ category into the ‘need’ category.  There are some saddles to check out and if you have the ‘back’ to a 55 Chevy, apparently they have the ‘front’.  Number One Son’s workshop is yet to be built and outfitted, so he might score some precious items.

Then he got around to the real reason for the call.  “Hmm, so Mom, do you miss your cats?”  Apparently, you can take the cat out of the barn, but you can’t take the barn out of the cat.  The two fierce & mighty barn kittens are wreaking havoc on the newlywed’s two bedroom apartment, wrestling each other and spreading kitty litter from one end of the apartment to another probably searching for mice and snakes.  Tigger & Pooh have flunked city life and will be returning to the farm and the outdoor life they know, fine by us all.

Aren’t second chances great!  My way of doing things is to often blunder forward and try.  Often followed by, “whoops”, not quite what I wanted, now what do I need to do.  I’m glad the offspring are willing to blunder forward in life as well.   There have been plenty of new things to ‘try’ here and so far my list of ‘whoops’ is pretty long, however I haven’t run over anybody with the tractor or cut off anything I needed with the ax so I’m good.


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