Good Things With All The Worthless

What is all that stuff on the dashboard of the pickup?

Phillips screwdriver, and it won’t fit the regular screw that’s worked its way out. Two calf-pulling chains; that’s one for each back leg, or enough to pull two calves if things get bad enough. But, there is only one puller handle. Purple windshield scraper, proving we have pride, but mostly so we don’t use the fence pliers again to crack the windshield more. Of course, there are those fence pliers; they are the most versatile tool. That is right after baling wire, and there are some too-short pieces of that as well.

Three yellow chore gloves for the right hand with the thumb and index fingers worn through on all. One plastic fingered glove, maybe for a right-handed team roper? Another roper’s glove, too shrunk for our hand. A sale barn gimme pen that won’t work. Yellow broken pencil that would have to be sharpened for use. The other half of that pencil with an eraser on it. A new Pinto pencil that’s never been sharpened. A
24-foot yellow-button tape measure, so the 12-foot swather driver doesn’t try to make it through a 10-foot gate.

Three box-end wrenches, five open-end wrenches and none of them fit that loose nut. A regular set of pliers that used to be in the mudroom drawer. Push-button gadget to   operate the radio that doesn’t work anyway. A cord to hook into the cigarette lighter hole, that’s now called a power point, maybe for a cell phone or something. A broken blue-plastic-covered padlock; we couldn’t find the key if it did work. Two cotter pins in a dingy plastic bag, that nobody will remember when needed. Empty W-D 40 can.

A utility knife, the third most useful tool ever, mostly for cutting bale strings, but often called into many other uses. Replacement blades. A little blue veterinarian-one-time-use castration knife. Two roper’s knives; that’s where they are after we lost them. A three-point-hitch pin that was sure needed when hooking up the blade; that 20-penny nail really isn’t too safe. Scissors with the point broken off one side. A bolt snap that works.

Several Co-op tickets, all 2008. Empty Co-op bill envelope. Another envelope that once had an insurance statement in it. Parts store tickets, dated 2007. Several loose   scraps of pocket-size notebook paper, with indecipherable numbers, illegible scrawls, worthless now. Two spiral notebooks, with a workable pen clipped on, and extra pieces of paper stuffed in front and back: yet valuable information such as several years’ calving, feed usage, deaths and other things to remember if they can be located within the pages.

Bag of new ear tags, another bag with the pointed insert part of the tag, two ear-tag applicators, one bent empty ear-tag marking pencil and one that does work. Several old loose ear tags, and a rubberband-encircled bundle of used ear tags, that had either been lost and found, or the critter was deceased and identifier removed. Box of
calf scour pills and the bolus applicator. Two bottles of some kind of injectable medicine. And more, too.

In response to the initial questions, it’s mostly junk, but there are some things essential to managing a cattle operation, too. It reminds us of Proverbs 20:8 “When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good.” Therefore, like Ecclesiastes 3:17:  “In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.”