early years of the Trew families found us farming and ranching
in Ochiltree, Hemphill, Quay and Gray counties. Later, when I came of age, I was
engaged in many occupations trying to make a living for a growing family. As each
phase of these efforts ended, changed or were sold, there was always a lot of
items “left over” that were too good to throw away, so they were hauled to the
home place, wherever it was located at the time, and stored.
Being raised during the Dirty Thirties by parents of ultra-conservative beliefs,
“fix it up, use it up and wear it out” was pounded into my young mind daily. I
learned almost anything broken could be repaired and anything not working could
be made to work again if only you had the right stuff on hand needed for repair.
This need was the driving force behind the adage of not throwing anything away.
After a number of years, I had a lot of stuff on hand, lying around, hanging up,
stacked, scattered here and there and laid back for the time it would be needed.
I thought I was saving an inheritance of sorts, but my sons say I am merely hoarding.
from ranching in 1985, leasing
out my grass, I now had time to work on all those longtime-planned projects using
the many items I had saved. After 15 years of working on such projects, I still
had not made a dent in my stuff saved back.
Much to my surprise, my four sons were not as proud of my stuff as I. They kept
hinting I should start getting rid of it so they would not have the chore when
I passed on. It was then I suspected after my demise there would be a gigantic
ranch/garage auction held and I wouldn’t be there to enjoy it.
As my 77th
birthday arrived in 2010, I began sorting through my stuff for recycling, hauling
off junk iron, brass, copper, aluminum and other varieties to Amarillo
Wood scraps were cut to size and stacked in my wood pile for
burning during the next winter in our fireplace. Every can or bucket was opened,
examined and tossed or put back on a shelf.
times I shed a tear or two as a favorite item brought back a memory from the distant
past. I moved past my early-life training in frugality and told myself I was taking
up slack by turning junk into cash.
ranch dump is now full awaiting wet weather, a prairie fire or a lightning strike.
With the economy as it is today, the money gained from cleaning up my stuff just
might be cashing in on my sons’ inheritances.
Trew - June
19, 2012 column
"It's All Trew"
Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can be reached at 806-779-3164,
by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by email at trewblue @centramedia.net.
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