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Cleaning up
The Back Forty
By Roger Pond

This is my day to clean the piano room. I call it the piano room because thereís a piano in there. My wife calls it the sports room, because 80 percent of the contents is sports equipment.

Now, I ask you, ďWhich is bigger? A piano or a sleeping bag?Ē I rest my case.

Calling this the piano room relieves me of any responsibility for its condition. Everyone knows I canít play one of those things.

I found some things I had forgotten about, like our old black and white television with the 12-inch screen. Thatís the best television we ever owned: It only gets two channels.

I see folks switching channels on these newer TVs - with cable access and 88 channels - and wonder, ďWhy canít we just shoot the thing?Ē

Our piano-sports room is home to other things, too; like my North Woods snowshoes and Connieís old phonograph records. Iím not sure which is more useful.

I discovered a perfectly preserved coyote tail - and four bags of shotgun shell casings. These might come in handy someday.

Hereís a leash and a pile of dog collars. Weíve got collars for everything from a Chihuahua to a Great Dane.

I found a bell for a sheep and a set of shears. We sold the sheep years ago; but there might still be one in the piano room for all I know.

I uncovered some backpacks, two belly boats and a box of clay birds. Here are some old sheets, carpet samples and upholstery for a boat we used to have.

Some folks would have a yard sale and get rid of this stuff, but I canít do that. One never knows when these things will come in handy.

Iíve stored books on how to cook over hot rocks and bake chicken in a shell made of mud. One never knows when the electricity will go out.

Any book that hasnít been read in 20 years goes to the barn. I donít know what happens to them after that.

How about these old stereo speakers? They must be too good to put in the barn.

The hardest part for me is finding a place for my fishing rods. I only have a few, of course; but the one-piece rods are too long to sit in a corner.

An old gun rack solves that problem. I just hang the rack on the wall and fill it with rods.

I used to worry about making holes in the walls to hang things up, but not anymore. Now Iím just happy if I can see the walls. The room is clean now, though. A person can walk in without stepping on much of anything.

We can find almost everything, too. Except maybe the piano.

This farm news was published in the July 19, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.