The way out here

Lost and found

Posted 10/10/23

What for some might be wallet, keys, spectacles and watch, for a farmer is wallet, keys, watch and pocketknife. 

Growing up, I lost a couple to the public school because everywhere but …

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The way out here

Lost and found


What for some might be wallet, keys, spectacles and watch, for a farmer is wallet, keys, watch and pocketknife. 

Growing up, I lost a couple to the public school because everywhere but there it was mandatory to have one handy. So there were a few times when I forgot myself and got my pocketknives confiscated while fishing out my lunch money. Nowadays, the only thing that causes me to lose a knife is myself. A few months back, I was doing some early morning work around the farm, getting in and out of the skid steer, when I suddenly realized I had lost track of that familiar bump in my pocket. 

Right there next to my wallet always rested my Old Timer folding knife that I used for all of my day-to-day tasks. That morning, however, it had suddenly gone missing; I didn’t even use it during the morning activities.

I looked everywhere I had been and turned up nothing. I told my father-in-law to keep an eye out in case he found it, but after a few weeks still nothing. 

Months went by, and it was just this past week that I found myself missing the familiar blade, having substituted for it another, less functional one. 

As I recalled the tool, I allowed myself to let go of the possibility that I might find it again. I had looked extensively and held little hope. Perhaps it was randomly lying in the dirt at the farm someplace it might never be recovered from again. 

I hear tell of the power of positive thinking, but I suppose in this case it must have been the power of acceptance that turned my bleak outlook into utter surprise.

As I was climbing in and out of the skid steer, moving materials at the farm, I happened to look down at the chair before I sat. Right there, as though served on a silver platter, lay my pocketknife. It sat on the mounting plate under the cushion of the chair where I can only assume it had been all this time. It must have been pushed further beneath the chair itself until something jarred it forward, because I had looked in the skid steer and there had been a considerable amount of traffic in and out of the machine since I lost the knife. 

The Old Timer looked as though it was wearing its name, since it had gained a small surface touch of rust on the nameplate and wore a veil of farm dust over the weathered scales. 

Not to diminish the usefulness of its replacement, but I unceremoniously replaced the knife I had been using immediately with my newfound accessory in my day-to-day carry. 

As I told my coworker the next day about finding my knife, they even pointed out that my pants still showed the worn outline of that knife’s shape where I always carried it in my pocket. 

What can I say, some things just belong. 

Although I gave up on finding it, the good Lord didn’t deem it to be a loss I had to endure. The way out here, you can replace any number of tools, but a thing like a pocketknife is special and comfortable to every man. You might say it’s a tangible piece of their hard work. Grandfathers pass them down to grandsons and fathers instruct sons how to whittle and wield these tokens of country living. While we pass on, these masculine heirlooms preserve a culture of preparedness, adaptability and reliability. To lose one means different things to different men, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a fellow out here who’ll be caught dead without one.

Pocket Knife, The way out here


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