Chapter 31 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part II

Working on a Wheat Farm

199

Harry Mueller and his Family in front of the Farm House

On the weekend Harry Mueller, a wheat farmer from the Hussar region and a good friend of my brothers Adolf and Gerry, dropped in for a short visit. When he learned that I just quit my job, he invited me to help out on his farm, where he would have plenty of work for me. He promised that in return for doing some basic chores he would pay me well in addition to free room and board. I would become part of his extended family that included his permanent farm helper and a young boy on a visit from California, whose company he assured me I would enjoy. I gladly accepted the offer, which after my ordeal as a laborer appeared to me like a godsend. Apart from the welcome change in scenery I felt it would be good to be away from Calgary for a while, where day in and day out I was sitting on pins and needles in tense expectation for some positive sign either from the university or the geophysical company.

I was the third of the Klopp brothers, who worked on the Harry Mueller farm. Adolf, who immigrated to Canada in 1953, had stayed the longest and had become quite attached to Harry and his family. He liked working on the farm. Life in a close-knit family after the turmoil during the postwar years in Germany must have been very appealing to him. Here he found everything he had been missing at home: stability, security, meaningful work, companionship with Harry, Eileen, Harry’s wife, and his mother Mrs. Mueller, whom I remembered well from her visit to us in Wesel in the late 1950’s. Adolf thrived in an environment, where he could see the fruit of his labours, see the results of a day’s work, and relax in the evening having a beer or two and shoot the breeze. He was not the type who would worry about events that may or may not disturb his life in the distant future. He lived very much in the present. His brother Gerry and later also Karl would do the worrying for him and urged him not to remain an unskilled labourer forever. Gerry after his arrival in Canada also spent some time at the farm, but just long enough, until he landed a job as a toolmaker at a bottle manufacturing plant in Medicine Hat. His ambitious nature would never allow him to stay at a dead-end job.

From the very outset it was clear that my time on the farm would be limited to two weeks. It became a respite from the harsh realities of hauling bricks and mortar. Indeed working for Harry felt like taking a holiday. Looking back I can safely say that quite apart from earning money I received much more than I was able to give. I learned to drive a tractor, operated a hydraulic lift arm, and was able to do in one day what the construction crew would not have accomplished in a week. There was a fence that had outlived its usefulness, which Harry wanted me to remove one fence post at a time. He showed me how to use the manual gearshift of the tractor, how to lower and raise the hydraulic lift, how to wrap a chain around the post, and how to attach the chain to the lift arm. Then he hopped on the tractor and gave a brief demonstration of the entire process. Being the owner of a full section of fertile land all planted in wheat, he had more important things to do than pulling out old fence posts. He left me with the encouraging remark, “I see you at lunch, Peter. Good Luck!”

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Peter Pulling Fence Posts on the Harry Mueller  Farm

I stood there for a while contemplating the incredible amount of trust he had placed upon my ability to live up to his expectations. I was determined not to disappoint him. At first I took ten long minutes to pull out just one post. But soon I got the hang of it and yanked three out of the ground within the same time period. When Eileen rang the lunch bell, more than twenty posts were lying along the narrow dirt road leading up to the farmhouse.

17 comments

  1. Pure Glory · September 22, 2017

    The farm sounds so much better than your work with the bricks. Enjoying your story and looking forward to new chapters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · September 23, 2017

      Indeed, farm work followed by a fishing trip into the Rockies was a wonderful alternative to the hard and dangerous work at the construction company. I am glad you like the story, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. arv! · September 23, 2017

    Looks like you love nature and natural surroundings. You are quick at learning too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · September 23, 2017

      You guessed it, Arv! The following episodes will make my passion for nature abundantly clear. Thank you and stay tuned!

      Liked by 1 person

      • arv! · September 23, 2017

        Sure. Looking forward to your next post. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. taphian · September 24, 2017

    That was a really nice experience for you, dear Peter. Such a time will never be forgotten. Have a nice Sunday, regards from Hamburg, Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · September 24, 2017

      Thank you very much for following and enjoying the seemingly never ending love story! I really appreciate that, dear Mitza. I guess you are getting quite excited to travel to your beloved Greek island very soon. Good luck and much joy!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ann Coleman · September 24, 2017

    Farm work is hard, but also rewarding. Glad you got to try your hand at it!

    Like

  5. Anonymous · September 24, 2017

    Das war natürlich auch keine leichte Arbeit auf der Farm,jedoch unter ganz anderen Bedingungen.Und du hast niemals aufgegeben,so hart es auch wurde.Bewundernswert!
    Herzliche Grüße an euch!
    Edda

    Like

  6. Edda · September 24, 2017

    Das war natürlich auch harte Arbeit auf der Farm.Jedoch unter ganz anderen Bedingungen.Und du hast niemals aufgegeben,so hart es auch wurde.
    Bewundernswert!
    Herzliche Grüße an euch beide!
    Edda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · September 25, 2017

      Im Vergleich zur Bauarbeit war die Farmarbeit ein Zuckerschlecken. Vielen Dank, liebe Edda, für den netten Kommentar! Viele liebe Grüße aus dem fernen Kanada!

      Like

  7. Bun Karyudo · October 1, 2017

    Pulling posts out of the ground with a tractor sounds like fun, Peter. I’ll bet people would pay to try it at an amusement park somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ankur Mithal · October 5, 2017

    When you enjoy what you do, it hardly seems like work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · October 6, 2017

      Yes, in my opinion that is the essence of happiness when you enjoy the work you do and get paid for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Schwedenlichter · October 21, 2017

    Wie toll, dass du meine Seite verlnkt hast und mich entdecktest. Mein English ist ausbaufähig, warum nicht in deinen Berichten stöbern um es zu verbessern 😀 Thanks a lot that you liked my swedish page. Know you Sweden from Visits? I love to read your stories about farmwork and my son does love the pics. TRAKTOR! :)) Hej da och tack Lovisa

    Liked by 1 person

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