Tuesday, February 24, 2009


What do you collect? I guess we all collect something but right now all I see is the colleciton of paper on my desk!

Cleaning my desk was never a strong motivation for me until it got so bad you get comments from others and you start feeling guilty. Or, you look and look for something you know you had and can't find it. I am getting to that point.

Today's email included a tractor a friend of mine sold recently and now another one is on eBay. Made me think about my own toy tractor collection.

I started collecting when I found an original Oliver 77 with the little man in the seat at the Warren County fair in the 80's. That tractor was made in the late 40's, early 50's around the time I was born and that was the first new tractor dad ever bought. That is the one I learned on when dad needed someone to drive the baler.

Matt was little when I bought that toy tractor and we would look at the toy tractor displays and every now and then I would buy one when I had a few extra dollars. By the time he was a teenager we had a sizeable collection so we built a shelf all around the top of the great room in the house on Rhude Road.

Farmers and kids would walk into the foyer from the front door and gasp at all the toy tractors around the top of that big room. It gave us considerable pleasure.

When we moved here they all got put away until the grandkids started coming and I had them all over my office for them to play with. Not including the brand new ones in the original box, though.

The bug bit again last year when I started bidding on eBay. There is usually 10 pages of toy tractors for sale on there each day. Next thing you know, you are the winner and they start coming in the mail.

Then you need a PayPal account and it really starts getting out of hand! You get the credit card bill and start looking at all the "fun" you had and wonder how much enjoyment you are getting for that monthly check.

At least that is how it worked for me. LuAnn got me beautiful shelves she sanded and stained herself for Christmas and I can enjoy that gift every day. But some of the boxes are stacked on top of each other and that makes for a poor display.

So my buying spree has stopped. Good thing, I don't have the extra money to blow right now. After the resolutions, tax preparation, net worth assessment, increased real estate taxes, new farm loan and everything else, there isn't any wiggle room.

My tractor inventory shows I could buy a ton of fertilizer for the value of my collection! I love to watch a beautiful crop growing from it but it's not the same as a tractor collection when your grandchild wants to look at one.

I see the news every day and just shake my head and give thanks for all I have. Pretty hard to look at those situations when you worked hard all your life and still have something to show for it. So many people don't have that.

I did buy another pedal tractor at Christmas for the kids to ride this summer. My friend Steve from Pennsylvania is bringing it to Ada tomorrow so I can bring it home. Can't wait to see one of the little ones ride it.

I wonder if this has happened for most people like me or are people still collecting?

Ed Winkle

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