28 March 2006

The Tractor Ride

That Marcy, she sent out a quilter’s email (sort of like a meme in the blog world) and wouldn’t you know there was a question where I had to tell a story. The question was simple enough. “Can you drive a farm tractor?” My answer, of course, not so simple…

I’m a farm girl, kinda. I grew up on a real, live farm with cows, chickens, pigs, geese, horses, sheep, and all other assorted critters who called our corner of the world home. We won’t get into the critters that my father paid to work on the farm. Suffice it to say that often the four legged kind smelled better and were smarter than the two legged kind. My father has the patience of Job (and a complete lack of olfactory nerves).

Anyway, I feel I can only kinda claim the farm girl title because really, I was let off the hook of most farm-related chores. Yes, I had to gather the eggs when I couldn’t sucker my little brother into doing it for me, but there were no early morning feedings or nights spent in the barn helping some critter bring a litter into the world. I didn’t spend days hauling hay because generally I was off at some nerd camp taking logic classes. I guess I don’t feel that I earned my overalls (although I occasionally still wear a pair of my grandfather’s worn out overalls).

One job that I did occasionally tackle though was mowing the yard. Now, let me explain that at the time, we didn’t mess around with a “lawn tractor.” We used the real deal, albeit a small tractor, a real tractor nonetheless. I thought this was a great way to get a tan (a sunburn really) and spend hours just sitting and thinking, one of my favorite pastimes. Our yard (field) is pretty flat and easy to cover, except for the front lawn. Two large trees offer shade and a bit of a challenge to the lawn mowing project.

But you know I love a challenge.

So I’m be-bopping along (as much as you can be-bop on a tractor) and I come to the area underneath the trees. No problemo, think I. I’ll just bend over really close to the steering wheel and pass right underneath the lower branches here. Just like riding a horse. No problemo.

I know when I think there isn’t a problem, there usually is a problem.

I’m feeling quite proud of my tractor-driving abilities as I scoot under the branch and start to sit up to make sure I don’t get any funny tan lines. And then I notice that my posture is improving with every move forward.

While my face managed to avoid hitting the tree branch, my ponytail wasn’t so lucky. I was caught and slowly being pulled backwards, conveniently right over the mower. You know, the part with the blades. I pulled, I yanked, I screamed, but that ponytail was stuck. Just as I’m starting to stand up with one foot on the seat, I managed to get the holder free and break from the tree, leaving a rather large hunk of my curls behind.

So while technically I could probably jump on the nearest John Deere and mosey up the road, we’d all be in danger from such a maneuver. Best to stick to morning traffic in my Saturn with a nice latte in one hand and the other ready to flip off anyone who dares cut me off on the 290.

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