... Of Surviving the Wilderness
Paul was also a visionary. One day – this would have been sometime in the middle 1950’s – after a particular long dusty day in the fields Paul said to me – “One day you will be able to farm by sitting in your living room. You will be able to control your equipment by remote control”.
Thinking I might be a farmer when I grew up I thought this was a pretty good idea – although I’m not sure I believed him at the time. Well, forty years later I’m watching TV and what do I see - tractors going up and down the field by themselves – plowing, seeding – controlled by computers in the farmer’s house. – and I learned –
One thing I really disliked doing was picking blueberries. What a terrible way to ruin a perfect sunny afternoon. In the bush, down on your knees, fighting the bugs and the bees, purple stains everywhere. It seemed like you could pick for hours and the can would never get full.
One day Paul showed up with a new invention – a small wooden box with nails sticking out the front and a handle on top. Now you could just swoop the nails through the bush and the blueberries would fall into the box. Now we could pick twice as much in half the time – Paul was my hero.
The only problem was we only had one box and Lin used to hog that most of the time. So next year Paul came out with a new and improved model – made from oil cans. It was sleeker, lighter and, boy, could we ever pick now. I kept waiting for him to come out with a pea or bean picker but I guess he didn’t want to make life too easy for us.
In addition to being able to fix just about anything with baler twine or haywire Paul was also a pretty good inventor. I would like to tell you about two of them that really impressed me.
“Don’t doubt someone’s insights or dreams – you just never know when they might come true.”