Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Life-Changing Event

Today I am thankful…

           …for the new gate latch.

Lest you think I am being silly, making light of “thankful Thursday”, or have just plain lost my mind---hear me out.  This is a big deal!

For years and Years and YEARS we secured the barn gate by hooking a piece of chain on a little nail. It worked great.  Well….when everyone remembered to put the little chain on the nail, that is.  I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten in bed at the end of a hard day only to wonder if I actually hooked the gate chain.  There was no sleeping if I couldn’t remember…so, get up…get dressed…walk to the barn…check the gate.  Invariably, it was indeed latched. It was those times that I was certain that there were problems…

Over the years, we have chased cows and sheep and lambs countless times.  We’ve chased pigs and a pony, too…but, I don’t really think those adventures had anything to do with closing the gate.  But, then again…

One of the cows learned that if she rubbed on the gate just so…or stuck her tongue through the gate and licked the chain…it would fall off the little nail and she was free!  She let herself out multiple times, only to be confronted by an angry MAMA who would demand, “KUH…what are YOU doing?”  and she (the cow) would tiptoe backwards into the barn, guilt written all over her cow face. Her escapes were thwarted by putting a staple in the post.  If the latch was hooked on the staple, she couldn’t wiggle it free.  Ha, take THAT, Kuh!

But, there were times when for various reasons, it was easier not to latch the gate.  Hay delivery was one of those times.  Usually, I worked quickly enough to get finished before someone discovered the open gate.

escapees in the snow Feb. 2012

I suppose everything came to a climax last week when the entire flock escaped into the barn (thankfully I had closed the big barn doors) prior to our attendance of the annual Farmers’ Market meeting.  I spent precious minutes screaming, cussing and flailing about with my shepherd’s crook in an attempt to herd them all back where they belonged so we could leave at the appointed hour.  It was not a pretty sight and ultimately I failed…and we were late.

We agreed that the current system needed some revision.

The Boss told me to go by the farm store and buy a new latch for the gate.  I have NO idea why this never occurred to either of us in the past.  For the record, HE has no idea why this never occurred to us in the past, either.  I reckon we are just a little slow on the uptake.

Unfortunately, his directions for finding said latch were rather sketchy.  I hunted and wandered and looked high and low. Not a store employee in sight.  I finally gave up and called home.  He started talking me through the store as I searched.  It was one of “those phonecalls”…and the other lady customer I encountered in the same area of the store got a good chuckle hearing my end of the call.  After I hung up, we commiserated over being sent to town on an errand for “the man” only to find we had NO idea what he wanted us to get.   She was still chuckling when she left the store. J

Once he finished the installation, we tried the new latch.  Again…and again….and again…. Open…close….open…close….open…

It was so simple!  We got just a little silly with the ease of operation and the absolute security of knowing that the gate was indeed latched.

Easy open…secure close…open…close…easy…secure…open...close...simply open...close....

Okay…enough already!

This is truly awesome.

While it seems somewhat pathetic that it took us well over 15 years to discover THE answer to the barn gate---I am SO very thankful that we did!  …and a special  thank-you to the Boss for the installation.

Easy open…secure close….easy open…secure close….

        My life has been forever changed!

(now, if I can just stop reaching for the gate chain)

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