Winter workland: Machinery maintenance (and a little fun) – The Williams Family

Williams1-25-14DiscChanging

Changing discs on an air seeder, part of farm equipment maintenance.

After being gone to San Antonio, we had a busy week ahead of us. The guys have been working diligently on the planter. As you can see in the picture, safety comes first…right after necessity.

There are many seed opener discs to be changed on this drill. The new black disc is 18 inches across. The worn out one is 15.5 inches across. If not replaced, soil will not be opened properly for proper seed placement. New discs cost $30 and it takes approximately 15 minutes to change one. There are 68 discs total on this particular 42 foot drill. Also, many other wear parts are changed while the seed disc is off. Patience and persistence are two qualities farmers have engrained in them…with the occasional hat throw, wrench chunk, or pickup peel out for whatever mechanical mishap. Just keepin’ it real.

A single disc from the drill.

A single disc from the drill.

Along with equipment maintenance, came the need to clean the seed barn for a double birthday party. Our hired hands are amazing sports and always willing to “clean” a barn for whatever reason, which they have done many times. I always say having a barn party is a good excuse to get the place clean. Now if they would only apply those skills to the house…

Harvesting Good Memories On and Off the Field

Every once in a great while (once, maybe twice, a year if we are lucky) we get to go hunting together. Most people would think, “Gosh I bet you get to hunt ALL the time.” Well, no… We don’t. Our operation is year-round. There’s always something to do.

Marty and Crystal enjoy hunting together.

Marty and Crystal enjoy hunting together.

Number one, for us hunting isn’t to have bragging rights. We 100 percent enjoy being out and appreciating the wildlife. It’s not to harvest a lot of birds or a huge buck that seems to elude our stealth-like hunting techniques every year (that’s a joke by the way)…because we don’t! We enjoy the outside, walking together in native prairie grass, joking about our slip of youth, and reminiscing stories of childhood adventures.

Number two, we are both pretty lazy when it comes to cleaning game so we only want enough to eat or share with someone else. Or in other words, our aim isn’t so great. And number three, Marty doesn’t have “vacation” or time off. When we are able to take a rare vacation, he’s on the phone taking care of business most of the time. He could make time, but for a farmer trying to make a living and provide, not only for his family but two hired hands’ families, it’s a responsibility and priority to use time wisely for the business…hunting is not one of them. But it sure is fun when we get to go! These are my favorite “dates” and the only time I complain of Marty walking too fast.

Cousin Paul a flight instructor at OSU, Marty the farmer, and Bro-in-law Kelly an elementary school principal in TN hunting a few hours on Christmas Break. (Photo credit Arlie Mornhinweg, Marty’s cousin)

Cousin Paul a flight instructor at OSU, Marty the farmer, and Bro-in-law Kelly an elementary school principal in TN hunting a few hours on Christmas Break. (Photo credit Arlie Mornhinweg, Marty’s cousin)

He’s a good sport to take me hunting because we both know the experience is just a little different in terms of bonding, humor, and tradition when it comes to hunting with the guys in the family. Usually the only time they all get to go together is Thanksgiving or Christmas.

It has something to do with tradition, relationships, and resourcefulness. Or that’s a woman’s explanation anyways. Marty always reminisces about the older generations taking him on his first hunts, and even the old guys taking him when he was 12 and 13 years old…I’m talking 60-80 year olds that shot from the hip. Great experiences, great memories, great people in our community. Time in the woods is worth more than counseling and sometimes even church. I said sometimes, not always!

A family that hunts together, stays together. (photo credit Arlie Mornhinweg, Marty’s cousin)

A family that hunts together, stays together. (photo credit Arlie Mornhinweg, Marty’s cousin)

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