Everyone Has a Job

The mess from the barn fire is strewn everywhere. The night of the fire, there was equipment here lifting things out of the barn, spraying them off, and setting them aside. And the hay. There was so much hay in the barn, which was another horrible loss, obviously. Truckloads of hay were taken out and spread in the field to keep it from re-igniting near anything important. Those, too, have been smoldering for a week now. But the hay and all the things that were taken out of the barn are just riddled with nails. Nails that were in the barn roof that went up in flames, nails that held the barn together, nails in everything. When the wood burned, the nails just fell into the hay, which got scattered all over the field and barnyard. The nails are a hazard. Thankfully no tires have been punctured, just my BIL's foot.

After a visit to the hospital to visit Sam's dad the other day, we stopped by Harbor Freight on our way home. They sell gloves for $2 each, and Sam has a glove fetish. (Don't dare let him tell you differently. He'll try to convince you, too, that the 15 pairs of gloves he currently has isn't nearly enough.) So while I was allowing Sam to indulge himself with yet more gloves (please help me remember this when I want to buy a new purse, will you?), he found a rolling magnet. It's a very large magnet on wheels with a push handle. Think push broom in size. And there's a release for when the magnet is full so that you can get the collected metal off with just a flip of the release instead of picking each piece off one at a time. It's kind of genius, really.

Sam instantly thought this would be a very good thing to roll through the fields to collect some nails after the hay burns. I mean, we're not so delusional to think that we'll get all the nails, but even if we just get a hundred or so, that's a hundred less to worry about puncturing a tractor tire in the spring.

Luke took one look at that thing and declared it his. And while we learned that collecting nails in the field as planned wasn't going to work, (the grass was too tall) he has been collecting all sorts of metal around the barnyard. And that's just as important, really. The boy has a five gallon bucket full of nails and other small pieces of metal that he gathered, and is excitedly counting all the money he'll get from turning that in. (At $10 per 100 pounds of metal, it's going to take a lot of 5 gallon buckets, but he's not deterred.) Old barns like dad's had some awesome craftsmanship in them, and his sported cut nails of various sizes. He sold a small box to my cousin for $5 (my cousin offered; he didn't extort) and the same cousin said he'd buy all Luke could find. The boy's eyes are aglow with possibilities.

So Luke is a permanent part of the scene at the barn now, pushing his rolling magnet ahead of him, softly clinking to and fro. The other day he asked, as nails were being caught up, if I heard that sound. "That's the sound of money coming my way."

No comments: