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Archive for November 5th, 2007

Yesterday was a beautiful day, and I awoke for church with a song in my heart, and a most unworthy prayer…”Please, Lord, let there be tractoring today.” Yeah, I’m embarrassed to pray such a lame prayer, especially when there’s so many other things to go to the Lord about, like world peace, orphans and widows, and such. But I couldn’t help it! I looked out the window at the gorgeous bright autumn day, and thought of all the fun things I could do in the garden with the tractor, and my petty prayer just slipped out.

[I’m almost to the point of being allowed by my grandfather to drive the tractor unsupervised. Soon……….oh soon!]

Sure enough, when I get to the homestead, Grandpa says, “Let’s go see if we can get the old tractor started.” He always says this, and it always starts, and then he looks proud and says something like, “Don’t it sound purty?” while he listens to the engine putt-putt-putter-ROAR. It gives him great satisfaction to hear his old 1954 machinery still running. But I digress.

Granpda on his 1954 NAA Jubilee
The first thing I need to do is drive the tractor around for a bit, and then back it into the area to take off the rototiller (a Land Pride 1558 that broke a chain and is partially dismantled). I do it remarkably well, and am very proud of myself. Then I drive the tractor over to the beechnut tree and pick up the spring-tooth harrow, which also involved a tricky bit of backing up directly perpendicular to the furrow.

When out of the blue comes Chris, Grandpa’s Polish neighbor. No, he’s really Polish. It’s not a slur. But he does slur, thanks to Heineken, but that’s another story. Chris comes sauntering up and says to Grandpa, “What are you trying to do here?” and then he gets all involved and starts hooking up the implement and getting in the way, in general. Then he starts making fun of my driving, and says he had to come over because he was afraid I’d run over my grandfather. And THEN he says, “would you like me to drag the vines out instead of her?” [I’m seething now, and trying to keep my cool around my grandfather.] I jump in and say, no thanks, I can do it. Then men finish hooking up the implement (which I’m perfectly capable of doing) and then I drove away to clear away the remains of the pumpkin patch (sorry, Emilie!).

Of course, Chris and Grandpa follow, and I can see them laughing and Chris pointing at me on the tractor. It’s probably not flattering. I pull the vines, and pause to ask my grandpa a question, when Chris says, “Do you want me to show you how a MAN drives a tractor?”

The thought that immediately passed through my head was, “Honestly officer, I don’t know how he got under my tractor tires….twice.”

What came out of my mouth was, “No thank you, I wouldn’t want to learn to do it wrong,” with a sideways wink that wasn’t at all heartfelt.

You know what’s so hard sometimes about being a woman in a man’s environment? The presence of men.

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