or a Farm By Its Tractor.
I learned to drive a tractor when I was in elementary school. One hot summer day, my dad was plowing the garden and making the rows for the green beans. I have to say that watching him drive down the 100′ row looked a lot much more fun than picking peas. So, I asked him to show me how to plow.
I’ll never forget crawling up to that tractor seat for the first time. I’ll never forget how nervous I was. I knew Ma wouldn’t be happy if I screwed up the green bean rows. And I’ll never forget how nice Pops was about the whole thing. The man never talked. Grunted a lot, but articulating a complete sentence wasn’t in his genetic makeup. That day though, he was patient and explained everything in detail and in terms I could understand.
I can’t begin to calculate how many hours I spent on that tractor over the years. When I moved to Alaska, I knew my farming days were over. Figured they’d be over forever. I considered having a small garden at the house in Wasilla once we retired, but instead of retiring to Wasilla, we bought a farm in Arkansas.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into the barn and was greeted by the same 1963 Ford tractor that I learned to drive all those years ago. To this day, we still use this tractor. It’s a workhorse that requires constant maintenance, but since I don’t have to crawl under it with a wrench, hammer and duct tape, the maintenance issues don’t bother me. I love that old tractor and fingers crossed we’ll be using it for a few more decades.