I really didn’t want to share this story. It’s embarrassing. I’ve been dreading it all afternoon. But in the interest of being honest about my life and experience here at the farm, I feel I must. I don’t like making mistakes, much less telling the world about them. Here goes…

Today I made my first major mistake. I crashed the Kawasaki. Sort of. I wasn’t driving it, but it crashed nonetheless and I was responsible for it.

Ryan, Arden and I were preparing to castrate piglets and needed a bale of straw to fill in Mama Pig’s wallow hole. Normally it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but we didn’t want the piglets rolling around in the mud just after being castrated. I volunteered to go grab a bale.

The straw trailer is parked by the barn at the bottom of a hill. There’s a lane that runs between the trailer and the barn, but the truck and animal trailer were parked, blocking my way. I drove around to the other side which meant I had to park on the hill.

The Kawasaki’s parking brake has always been a bit finicky. I knew this so I double checked to make sure the brake caught. Once I was sure, I got out and headed down to the trailer to grab a bale of straw. No sooner had I reached the bottom of the hill (about 15 feet away) when I  turned and saw the Kawasaki start to roll.  I had it in my head that I was going to jump in and hit the brake and save the day. Yeah. Right. Didn’t happen. It rolled right into the back corner of the trailer, smashing the tail in the process.

Dean calmly helped me get it out and I headed back to the pig pens with the bale of straw. It seemed to be driving fine until I had to put it in reverse. Nothing. It went forward but not backward. At this point the piglets were all castrated so Arden and I went to help Steve and Rob paint the barn while Ryan set about figuring out what was wrong. The impact knocked the rod that connects the gear shift loose from the actual transmission. Ryan fixed that and made a new tailgate from some scrap wood that actually seems sturdier than the original tail.

I know I’m not the first one to make a mistake like this. There was Lauren’s fiasco with the wagon and the fence. Diesel tractors have been filled with unleaded gas. Gates have been left open and animals have escaped. We are all flawed humans and mistakes will happen, but knowing that doesn’t necessarily lessen the guilt and shame or stop us from dwelling on “if only’s” and “what if’s.”

7 thoughts on “Mistakes

  1. When I make mistakes at work, I fear losing my boss’ trust. But they’re usually more understanding about them than I am! It might be hard to remember in the moment, but you’re still the same responsible, conscientious, hard-working person you were yesterday and I’m sure the people you work with know that. Hope you do too. That said, it sounds like this could’ve happened to anyone. You double-checked the brakes before stepping away, so what else could you have done? Maybe the Kawasaki needs to carry a chock block.

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I probably shouldn’t have parked on the hill in the first place, but hindsight is 20/20. And you are so right! We are almost always harder on ourselves than others are on us. Mistakes happen and life goes on!

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