Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Farewell, my love.

It's official, my old diesel pickup truck is dead. She laid down and died last Sunday cruising down Pennsylvania's 233 south between mile markers 169 and 170 on the way to Pine Grove.
It was a beautiful day, the warmest of the year so far and friends had invited me to a cabin on Fuller Lake for the afternoon.
The drive up the mountain was gorgeous and I was laughing hysterically to A Prairie Home Companion as Garrison Keillor and his gang parodied Simon & Garfunkel with "The Sound of Chickens". At the crest of the mountain I began to hear a sound, that same grinding clack I'd hear on the Ventura freeway just past the Seward exit back in 1996 when I put a rod through the block. Just like before, as the sound grew louder, the truck slowed down and the engine completely stopped.
Fourteen miles earlier, the odometer had rolled over 478,000 miles. My hopes were to turn 500,000, but alas, it was not to be. I knew she was dead. Speaking of dead, when I went to call AAA and my friends, I was also in a cellular dead zone so I began walking toward the lake. This was perhaps the most disappointing moment of the whole ordeal. Vehicle with hood up and woman walking along side the road...even with my thumb out, I walked for nearly a mile before a family in an SUV out for a hike in the mountains with their kids & dog pulled over. "Women don't walk along the road in the mountains with their purses unless they're broke down," the lady said and they offered to drive me to wherever I needed to go.
So they drove me to the cabin a few miles away at the lake. I met my friends, called AAA, went back to meet the tow truck, sent Big Stinky back to the farm and went back to the cabin to toast the passing of an old friend with good friends.
At the cabin was a Buddha. When I first saw it, I knew what I had to leave for him--the brass hand that had hung from the rear view mirror for many, many years. That old gal had outlasted two relationships, four dogs and three domiciles. I used it while working on ranches, in the oil fields, in the harbor and in the technology industry. She carried me and my loved ones safely across the country to the farm. She was unique, trustworthy and will be dearly missed. Goodbye, old friend.


  1. Sorry for your loss! Still impressive to nurse a truck along so many miles. I'm excited at 144,400. Just hoping for 150,000.

    Good to see you back!

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  3. RIP Disel Pickup!!! I hit the next blog and found yours, it's really interesting!

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