From Pipi’s Pasture: Memories made in Grandpa’s shop
March 1, 2018
This week, as I was waiting out in my husband Lyle's shop for a twin calf to drink her bottle, I looked around and remembered all the ways the shop has been used through the years. (More about the twin later.)
The shop is big — probably big enough for a couple of vehicles if some stuff were moved out. At present, there's enough room to work on one vehicle and store a four-wheeler where it can be kept warm during the cold weather.
I'm sure the shop was a plus for Lyle when it came to buying this place some 15 years ago. When we moved here, he spent a lot of time organizing the workbench, sorting nuts, bolts and other such things into marked compartments and finding a place for other tools and equipment. In no time at all, the shop was as neat as a pin.
Then, Lyle put in a refrigerator for water, soda, cow medications and even snacks. He brought his pool table out of storage, cleaned it up and purchased new pool equipment.
When cold weather hit, Lyle cranked up the shop's coal stove (now replaced by a propane heater), and the shop was a warm and cozy place to be. That's what the grandchildren thought, too.
Over the years, as the kids grew up, they were attracted to the pool table, where they, their friends and even Grandpa played for hours. Then, as they acquired vehicles, it was the perfect place to replace brakes, put in new fuel pumps, pull engines and deal with a variety of other automobile problems. Through the course of those years, the shop floor has been covered with oil and anything else than comes out of a vehicle, and always, Grandpa has been heard to caution, "Clean up my shop."
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When we moved here, the grandchildren were young enough to enjoy a big Easter egg hunt, so each year, after hunting eggs all around the place, the last stop was the shop. That's where they found baskets, kites and other gifts. On stormy days, the eggs were hidden there, too. Even now, grown-up
kids and grandkids, alike, still find Easter gifts in the shop.
The shop has also served as a temporary storage place for belongings when both our son's families moved from the Craig area.
And that brings me back around to the twin calf. One other time, a cold morning several years ago, we found an icy calf on the feedlot. It had to be warmed up — and fast. So, we put the calf in front of the shop's stove, and later in the day, we fed him and put him back with his mom.
This year, the calf was a twin. We saw the cow following a calf on the feedlot, but at first, we didn't realize there was another calf that had been left behind. It was also icing down. Thanks to help from our kind neighbor, Lyle brought her into the shop. That's where she has been for a couple of weeks. She's a big, very lively calf, and now, Lyle's shop is covered with something other than oil.
In the end, as I remember everything that has gone on in Grandpa's shop, I realize that the most important is having a place to converse — second only to the dining room table, perhaps. Over the years, family and friends have visited, caught up on news, shared memories, solved problems and joked with one another — all in Grandpa's cozy, warm shop.