Pulleying back the years

(I realize “pulleying” is not a word-GN”)

If you read this column on a regular basis then you know I am the nostalgic type. There should be nothing about installing an overhead door that triggers nostalgia however I have a keen nose for this kind of thing. I have a story for you.

I have been installing a large overhead door by myself. I have written about the techniques recently used to accomplish each task. I began stacking the panels last week. These panels are 22 feet long so they are hard to handle. The first two panels went up with brute force and the third using a 2×4 stud as a ramp. Panel four went up over the week-end but we are now at eight feet high so I needed some technology to help the lift; old technology.

pulley 1I looked around the farm until I found an old pulley my dad used in the barn back in Viking. The pulley was part of a system used to lift loose hay from a trailer in front of the barn up to a hay trolley after which is rolled back into the barn on a rail.

I have some excellent memories of loose hay as my dad had me help. I would stand on the ground and hold a rope that was used to steady the loose hay as it slowly rose up into the sky. Dad would be on the old Farmall M tractor pulling a cable that performed the lift. That cable went through a pulley to make a 90 degree turn at the corner of the barn. I was now using that pulley to lift one end of a section of overhead door.cropped-rural-reflections-cover.jpg

I would suspect that day in front of the barn helping my dad was one of the few times we got along when we worked. I always want to be in control of things and so did my dad. I always wanted to impress him with how well organized my farm was or how well my cattle handling system worked. I think my dad wanted me to notice that even as he got older, he was still able to do good work. I don’t think we always noticed what the other had accomplished.

Dad is seated in front, flanked by my brother Dave and sister Deb.
Dad is seated in front, flanked by my brother Dave and sister Deb.

Dad and I did build the base for a hay shed one time. Even though each one of us wanted total control of the project, we actually made it work. I remember after we had finished digging in the poles, I shook his hand and said that, although we almost killed each other, we had done some pretty good work.

Anyway, I lifted that door section into place. I have one left and plan to set it with the pulley as soon as my current task, which you are reading, is finished. I thought about how about how good it was to grow up on a farm and spend time with my dad. All the friction caused by two human bulls fighting for top space didn’t really matter. It was really just nice to know that the pulley could do more than just lift things. It could also draw people together.

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