Spring cleaning is done in the fall.
Well, not exactly, but autumn is the time we spruce up the ranch. That’s in contrast to the majority, evidently, yet October is the month we have a crowd gather at our place. So, we want it to look at least respectable enough that they don’t make too many snide remarks.
What started out as a livestock judging field day developed into an annual horse sale. Actually, we’ve been having something on the second Saturday of October for 27 years. Attendance has varied from a few dozen to several hundred, and they’ve come from near and as far away as California.
Upkeep of a place is a constant effort, no matter where or of what size, but add in livestock, and the maintenance is multiplied. No matter how domesticated they might be, farm animals are tough on facilities.
While we have always been quite persnickety about the looks of our ranch, we’ve mellowed some and don’t worry about every nook and cranny like we once did. Back in our 4-H days, we stewed all summer long about getting our two-acre ranchette spic-and-span for the annual 4-H tour.
That persistency continued after we moved to this ranch. Of course, the lawn must be mowed, but just as big a chore is the weeds that grow in the pasture, along the fence row and in the storage area out back.
Next of importance, of course, is the waste left behind by the critters. Some horsemen have immaculate stalls, but not us. So, there are lots of deep piles to clean from 16 stalls, plus several corrals in the barnyard.
Painting is not an annual project for most farms, but our mom always insisted on the importance of fresh paint, and we’ve followed her line of thinking. All wood barns and sheds, as well as fence posts and permanent steel fencing, are painted annually.
We used to do it all with a brush, but for several years we’ve hired the building painting done by a professional with a spray gun. A couple of youth paints the fence.
Walls on the inside of the steel-sided horse barn used to be hand-scrubbed, but nowadays, a mechanical pressure sprayer is used for the chore. Even the siding on the home gets dirty during the year, and is now cleaned with a bleach mixture and broom, contrary to a bucket and rag like we used for many years.
Likewise, no matter if it’s done annually, there’s still lots of stuff to be burned. And the junk pile on the far side of the pasture always gets a little higher. We never get it all done, but as the time comes, there’s a lick and a promise, and the show goes on.
While some often insist cleanliness is close behind Godliness in importance, the most essential message is revealed in Second Samuel 22:25: “Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in His sight.”