Friday, November 15, 2013

Running Around in Circles

There I am, Tuesday afternoon driving around in circles, cutting the Back Eight with my trusty 574.  I like to get the field cut down for winter as it makes cross-country skiing easier and because it looks better, too.

 I have really got to watch out for Carl, as he once again snuck up on me with a camera.  Well, ok, he didn't actually sneak up on me, I saw him drive out to the field when he got home from work, but I didn't realize he had the camera with him until I looked at the pictures later on that night.

The weather was windy and cold that day, around 30 degrees with a brisk west wind.  There's no heater on the tractor except for the heat coming off the motor, so I kept my feet tucked under the clutch and brake pedals to absorb whatever warmth is available.   My hands and legs were another story, though.  After three and a half hours on the tractor I felt like a large icicle and walking was a challenge until my joints defrosted. 

Carl sitting in his car (with the heater running) filming his Frigid Wife.  Hey, that's what he gets for spying on me.
I had a great time cutting the hayfield, though.  Any time spent on a tractor is a treat for me.  My mind wanders around as the hours pass and I invariably think of my dad.  If he would have lived, he would have been 100 years old this past September.  Hard to believe.  This farm has been in our family for over a century, too. 

There is a lot of history on these 98 acres; as I drove the tractor that day I thought about how Dad used to work this farm plodding along behind a team of horses.  Times have changed.

 I wasn't the only one out on the land that day....right across the line fence from me was this 'slightly' bigger tractor working corn ground:

He's got a cab.  And a heater.  And a LOT more horsepower than me.
The driver of the other tractor was a stranger to me since the acreage is rented out, but we exchanged the standard Farm Salute, the Two Finger Wave, nonetheless.  In case you ever find yourself in farm country you will need this vital piece of information; the way to acknowledge a neighbor or anyone on a tractor is to simply raise one or two fingers off the steering wheel along with an upward nod.   Sort of a 'Whassup' gesture, if you will; a show of mutual respect and acknowledgment. 

And a Public Service Announcement is in order if you find yourself traveling in farm country: Never, ever use the One Finger Salute.  Flipping a farmer off is Not Nice.   Yes, that big old combine or tractor may be holding up traffic on the highway, but they can only go so fast and believe me, they're in more of a hurry than you are.  Their livelihood depends on it.  Be patient, they're doing the best they can.  Put yourself in the farmer's shoes, this isn't an easy life, either.  Slow down, ok? 

We're all in too much of a hurry, and I'm guilty of that, too.   Fall is my favorite time of year, I love to savor the days.  Life is short, and my recent bout of ill health brings this fact to light all the more. 
Carl found this circle of ice in one of my knee pads left outside overnight.  I thought it was cool.  Ok, cold.

I've got to quit running around in circles.  I'm already dizzy enough.



Alison said...

Glad to see you having fun on the tractor. And I'm sure Carl was happy to see you on the tractor too, and that's why he wanted the pictures.

Tufa Girl said...

The treeline of evergreens behind the quarry garden makes it look like you live in a forest instead of the middle of farm country. Beautiful fall colors in your garden, too. Wish I could run around in circles on a farm tractor. Ah, someday.

HolleyGarden said...

Weeding for me is what tractor driving is for you. Time to just sit and let my mind wander. But I don't do it when it's so cold out! Brrrr!

Pamela Gordon said...

Fun post Karen. I would be so cold doing that. I used to enjoy mowing the lawn (push mower) too as I could think and pray without interruption. We do the 2 finger wave here in the country too but these days we hardly know the drivers of the vehicles with all the sub-divisions and new homes around. Most of them are strangers. Have a good weekend.

Junebug said...

I'm really lucky I don't have to travel the interstate to work. The only traffic jam I run into is farm equipment. But, I one of those silly nuts that love to drive slow behind and just marvel at the machinery. Sometimes I get so caught up that I don't notice the farmer signalling me it's okay to pass. Oops!!

El Gaucho said...

Ah yes, the two finger salute. Here the "keep your thumb on the steering wheel and wave with four fingers/palm" is the most commonly used greeting gesture. It's been 5 years now and I still can't get acclimated to visiting Alycia's hometown (pop. 1,500) and having to wave to everyone. It's funny to me as a big city kid how you're required to wave to everyone, even if you have no idea who you're waving to.

Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

I always love seeing the old tractor and get a little envious of it...It might not have the cab, heater or horsepower of the one next door but it sure has more charm.
I am glad you are not ill anymore and feeling well enough to tackle such tasks.

Blessings Kelsie

Gardens at Waters East said...

You look right at home as they say, doing the tractor thing. Love it. You are right about appreciation of life, especially when one is confronted by serious illness. One learns lots in those situation. Happy for your enjoyment of these days. Jack said...

I would have fun on a tractor like you! I knew the finger salute because they do that at the farm here too. I agree , the ice disk is kinda neat.