September 11th is a date that always stands out to me for many reasons. On 9/11 I always remember exactly where I was and who I was talking to when I heard about the terrorist attacks. However 9/11 also stands out to me for much happier reasons as well. We began moving the horses to our new (at the time) farm on September 11, 2010. We moved the last group of horses to the farm on September 11, 2011.
We purchased the farm in January 2010 and moved the first group of horses nine months later. When we bought the farm we bought bare land. There was no fencing anywhere, no buildings of any sort, no water lines or electricity, no driveway - nothing. We had a completely blank slate to work with and, although I am heavily biased, I think the end result is pretty fabulous. All of the credit for our farm layout goes to Jason. He designed it and laid out all of the pastures, barns, run-ins, etc. on paper and then we built his vision. We had a total of five moving days from September 11, 2010 to September 11, 2011. We built the farm in phases from front to back. We would get a pasture (or two) fenced, run water and electricity, build run-ins, build a barn and move another group or two of horses.
It took us almost four years of searching to finally find a property we both wanted in a location we both wanted. We searched out of state as well and even made a trip to Lexington, KY to look at farms. I will say again that farms, fully built out and finished farms complete with board fencing, residences and beautiful barns, are shockingly affordable in Lexington as compared to our area of middle Tennessee. However I balked at the marked difference in winter weather between here and Lexington. Jason still peruses real estate in the Lexington area and we still occasionally discuss moving there. The real estate prices make it so incredibly tempting. But not tempting enough to deal with more winter and deal with relocating all of us so we look at the prices and fantasize about what we could buy.
People often ask us why we didn't move everyone all at once. If you understood how much packing and planning it took to pull off moving a group or two of horses you would never ask that question. I would spend days packing up blankets, feed and supplements, feedbags, medical supplies, grooming tools, medications, buckets, manure forks, scissors, feed containers . . . all the things you take for granted because they're always there. Moving the horses was the easy part.
So today I reflected on many memories ranging from watching the Twin Towers fall to the excitement of starting and then finishing moving the farm. I took a walk down memory lane and found a few pictures from various moving days.
Jason holding Thomas and Homer as they wait to load on the trailer
loaded and ready to roll
arriving at the "new" farm
Murphy looking very interested as he unloaded
Calimba and MyLight
Renny, Johnny and Africa
Some views are not meant to be captured in a picture; the sky was really pretty this morning but my pictures certainly does not show it.
I don't know why it is, but Jason and fuel tanks look for ways to not get along. On Tuesday he was putting more diesel in the lawnmower, using one of our brand new diesel cans that we just bought to replace our old, worn out fuel containers. I was standing there talking to him as he was pouring the diesel in the lawnmower.
We were having a friendly conversation about something unimportant when Jason suddenly started screaming expletives. Needless to say I was a bit taken aback by the abrupt change in topic and demeanor. He was screaming things out so fast it was hard for me to keep up with what he was saying but when I heard "bleeping fuel can" I looked down and realized that a vital part of the can appeared to be missing - the spout. It is now resting comfortably in the fuel tank of our lawnmower. It just fell off for no apparent reason.
Jason kept his diatribe up for quite awhile and made many interesting comments with creative uses of vocabulary. Without thinking I reminded him of the last time he had to take something apart to retrieve a foreign object from a fuel tank. Unsurprisingly the ranting continued.
The previous misadventure happened about four years ago. Jason and my dad completely dismantled the Kubota tractor so they could take the fuel tank to be professionally cleaned and sealed (this was necessitated by a bad load of diesel).
To remove the fuel tank they had to remove all the sheet metal on the front of the tractor, remove the canopy, and remove the entire dash board including the ignition assembly and lights. They got all of this done, had the tank cleaned and re-sealed, and then spent an entire day re-assembling the tractor. Amazingly they got it put back together, the tractor started on the first try and I walked up as they were telling each other how awesome they were.
At least they thought they were awesome and all done until Jason went to refuel the tractor. When he leaned over while fueling the tractor the ballpoint pen in his shirt pocket fell into the fuel tank. The mood changed in an instant and there was no more talk of awesomeness. In fact nothing much was said at all as they suddenly found themselves with a tractor that was going to have to be disassembled and reassembled again so the fuel tank could be drained and the pen fished out.
Now Jason gets to look forward to taking apart our lawnmower so he can drain the fuel tank and fish the spout out of it. Of course my dad is no longer here to help him. Which means that I am the one that will have to help. We haven't even started this project and I know one thing for certain: nothing good will come of this. Nothing.
The good news is the lawnmower has two fuel tanks so Jason turned the switch and the non-spout containing fuel tank is now in use. This means we can potentially put this off for a long time. Here's hoping.