We can all use a helping hand from time to time, especially if you’re a farmer. Things come up where you really need another person’s help. It’s nice when you have good friends you can call on in such situations.

After many years of use, the hood on my chopper here was wearing and rusting out. It was getting in really bad shape, and since we didn’t want to have a major problem with it when I was out chopping feed for our cattle, we decided to get it fixed. Much easier said than done.

First, we unhooked the hydraulic cylinder and then the electric motor that operates the deflector on the hood. Next, we took off the brackets and then tried to lift the hood off the throat of the blower. Impossible. So we had to get wrecking bars and blocking so we could start driving it off. Those 6 inches seemed like a mile. It took us close to two hours to get it to the point where we could lift it off. When we got it to that place, we were all thinking the same thought: That thing looks pretty big and clumsy and heavy to get off the chopper and down to the ground safely. We talked it over, and we all agreed we should have another man here to help us so nobody would get hurt.

So we called up Harley on his cellphone and asked him if he could come and help us for a few minutes. Harley, a retired dairy farmer, happened to be in town when I called him. He said he had just finished up his town business and was ready to head home. He’d swing by our place on his way. Ten minutes later, he swung into our place. We showed him our problem and he quickly helped us get it off and safely to the ground. Having an extra pair of strong hands makes a world of difference at times.

With that done, we thanked Harley for his help, and he volunteered right away to come back and help us put it on once we got it fixed. We were surprised and happy with his offer and told him we would take him up on that.

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As Harley was starting to get into his car, he asked us, “Do you need a shop vac?” I replied, “I sure could use one. I looked at buying one once, but I didn’t like the price on it.” Then Catherine added in, “When he cleans out the seeder here every spring, he borrows Mom’s vacuum cleaner.” Harley says, “Well, I just stopped at a thrift sale when I was in town and bought a good-sized one for 3 dollars. Would you like it?”

“Does it work?” I respond. “They said it does,” Harley replied, “Take it and plug it in.” Joshua quickly took it and plugged it in, and it worked.

I asked Harley if he didn’t want to keep it, and he said, “No, I already have a good one at home; I just couldn’t pass up a good deal. I knew somebody could use it.” With that, we thanked him and he left. A week later, he came back and helped put our fixed hood back on our chopper. With an extra set of hands, it went really easy.

It’s a real blessing to have good neighbors and friends who are more than willing to help out in time of need. I count such friends as great blessings from God. The Bible teaches us that we are to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. We are to love our neighbors and help them out. If more people did this, this world would be a much better place to live in. end mark

Tom Heck, his wife, Joanne, and their two children own and operate a 35-cow dairy farm in Wisconsin. Email Tom Heck or order his book at Tom Heck Farm