Farmer H is a saver.
Sure, sometimes that can be synonymous with hoarder. But not in this case. We're not talking about his collection of chicken figurines, or Coca Cola memorabilia, or out-of-business-breweries beer paraphernalia. Nope. We're talking about putting something back so it will be ready when you really want it. A saver.
When I was in high school, our volleyball team was really good. Second place in the state tournament good. Before schools were divided into classes depending on enrollment. We had special socks with our school colors. Pardon my fashion faux pas by today's standards, but the sock of the era was the tube sock. Ours had alternating red and royal blue stripes around the top. They were a status symbol of sorts. A thick, white, knee-high athletic sock with blue/red/blue/red stripes above the calf. Only the volleyball team had them. Each player had two pair. Don't think the school GAVE them to us. We had to pay. They were socks, you see.
I decided I wanted to save one pair. For my glory days. To remember that special time. My mom was quite accommodating. Even though we played at least two games per week, she washed my socks so I could reserve that second pair. They lay folded in my top drawer, near the back, out of the heavy traffic area. Every now and then I would take them out and stroke them. Perhaps hold them to my cheek. Revel in their championshipness. But then a funny thing happened. Along about my senior year of college, my socks lost their mojo. I tried them on, and discovered that THEY HAD LOST THEIR ELASTICITY! They were almost brittle. With a sickly yellow tinge. The elastic had given up the ghost. My socks were old. Useless. Jaundiced. Not special anymore.
All along, I could have been wearing the bejeebers out of those hosiery. Showing the world my special socks. When they were in fashion, even! But I had wasted them. Shut them away until they turned to dust.
Farmer H is a saver. He volunteered to drive T-Hoe to town in the deep snowfall yesterday morning. As we headed up the driveway, I asked if he had put my loyal vehicle in 4WD. I do that, you know, in times of snow-packed roadways. Even with a dusting. Not to mention the seven-plus inches we were plowing through.
"No. We don't need it."
"Yes. We DO need it."
"I don't know where it is."
That was a blatant falsehood. Farmer H was simply putting me in my place, because he had tried to put my precious T-Hoe into 4WD before backing out of the garage. I told him that he would not be able to turn the tires in 4WD. That I always waited until I was headed up the driveway. Also, that you are only supposed to switch from regular 2WD to automatic 4WD or 4W HIGH while the tires are rolling. And that doggone Farmer H tried to tell me that you are only supposed to switch it when you are stopped. GIVE ME A BREAK! It is my car. I have driven it since 2008. I read the manual that first winter.
So then, Farmer H proceeded to fumble around and tell me he put my precious T-Hoe in 4W AUTO. Which means the wheels will switch into four-wheel drive if the tires spin. Of course, first you are riding in a vehicle with spinning tires, THEN you have four-wheel-drive to try and save yourself.
I argued that we bought a car with 4WD so we would have a way in and out of our remote hilly enclave in times of snow and ice. What was the point of NOT using the 4WD? It was already paid for. It wasn't going to wear out. The conditions were exactly what we had purchased the 4WD for. All he had to do was turn a dial the size of a fifty-cent piece, located to the left of the steering wheel.
Farmer H is a saver. He is saving that 4WD for some mystical purpose. He even went so far as to tell me, "This here automatic four-wheel-drive is all you will ever need."
I explained that I always put T-Hoe in 4W HIGH when driving on snow. That one year, coming up the big hill, a tiny sports car coming down had refused to move from the middle, and ran me off the right side. There is no shoulder in Hillmomba. I drove with T-Hoe canted at a 45-degree angle, two tires in the ditch, until that tiny sports car passed. Luckily, my 4W HIGH pulled me right up the hill, and allowed me to claw my way back onto the road.
THAT is why we don't save our already-paid-for, easy-to-use 4WD when Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is piloting T-Hoe through seven-plus inches of snow. The condescending chuckle of Farmer H will not change my beliefs.