Most all of us exhibit some signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), in varying degrees, from time to time.

My wife accuses me of tending to be on the upper end of the spectrum, but I don’t see it, even though I admit to having made the five-mile trip back to the north farm at least a hundred times over the past twenty years, just to make sure that I had shut the gate.

In my defense, I had left the gate open…once.

I’m fairly certain that one of my neighbors has at least a mild case of OCD. Why else would I see him out in the middle of the afternoon, on the hottest day of summer, pulling up the one and only thistle in his pristine pasture? Or, yet, another neighbor who admits to walking around his tree-covered lawn, each evening, to pick up any limb, twig or leaf that might have fallen during the day. I’m not that bad.

A group of us were psycho-analyzing the OCD problems of our neighbors at the feed store last week, when Mike told the story of one of our former neighbors who is no longer with us.

It seems this old farmer was more than a little OCD about his machinery, to the point that he had never let his tractor spend a night outside of the barn. He was just as obsessive with keeping all of his equipment as clean as the day he bought them, power-washing each one at the end of each job before storing them inside, as well.

The old gentleman had traded tractors one year and couldn’t wait to try out his new purchase. This was a time before cab tractors were in great usage, but his new workhorse was one of the first in the community that came with a canopy top.

The day it was delivered, he immediately hooked it up to a rotary cutter and began the job of clipping his pasture. Evidently, he was having so much fun operating his new tractor that he failed to see an approaching rain cloud and it began to sprinkle on him before he put it in road gear and headed to the shed, where he had always parked his old tractor. Remembering that this new and bigger tractor had a canopy, he watched the top as he slowly pulled into parking space.

While the canopy barely fit under the roof edge, he didn’t take into consideration that the exhaust pipe extended a few inches above the canopy – and he wasn’t watching that side of the tractor. It broke off the shiny new exhaust pipe on his brand new tractor, and he was devastated.

Obsessed with keeping his new tractor looking new, he raced to the implement dealer before closing time and purchased a new exhaust pipe. Speeding back home before dark, he quickly retrieved the tools he needed to replace the exhaust pipe, to make his new tractor look like it did when they unloaded it that morning. After replacing the part, the old man admired his work and was satisfied no neighbor would know what had happened, but his OCD kicked in and he realized the machine needed to be cleaned of the debris that had accumulated during his brief field job. As he backed out the tractor toward the waiting power washer, the loud snap reminded him that the roof eave had not magically risen while he was gone.

Jerry CrownoverEditorial / OpinionsJerry Crownover,Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,OCDMost all of us exhibit some signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), in varying degrees, from time to time.My wife accuses me of tending to be on the upper end of the spectrum, but I don’t see it, even though I admit to having made the five-mile trip back to...The Ozarks' most read farm newspaper, reaching more than 58,000 readers in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma