There is something empowering about hopping on a tractor and backing it out of the barn. A tractor is the quintessential sign of country living and anyone who farms develops a strong bond with this mighty machine. Today I have a mission and this bad boy will help me accomplish the task at hand.
I’ve got my bathing suit on and I am wearing flip-flops. Vanity has won out over safety so I don’t care if I cut off my toes; I have to wear boots most of the day and my tan line is atrocious. And I have long ago lost any sense of decorum about the proper attire while out on a tractor; my bathing suit and cowboy hat is the epitome of redneck and I am cool with it. I have chosen my playlist for the afternoon. Miranda Lambert will be keeping me company and I will undoubtedly be hoarse after my chore because I will attempt to sing over the roar of the engine.
I’m heading out to cut the five acres of lawn around the farm. Actually, the five acres consists of mostly weeds, but even weeds look mighty fine when freshly cut. Most of this property is in front of the main house so I get a good view of the road with each and every pass I make. I take note that almost everything that drives past is a pickup truck…..mostly Chevys and Fords. Every truck that passes includes a wave out the driver’s side window; if it is a neighbor, there is also a toot of the horn. Two tractors amble down the middle of the road, which makes me think that the scary store up the road finally got their delivery of diesel.
I’m certain Miss Betty from across the road is watching the spectacle of me on my tractor, in my bathing suit and flip-flops. Miss Betty sees everything. I don’t mind because I know she also kept a close eye on the farm while I was off at the feed store earlier in the day. No need to set an alarm or lock the door; nothing gets past Miss Betty. She watches me dance and sing as I plod along and I imagine she is scratching her head wondering whether or not I have gone mad.
I look over to the rest of the acreage, I can see Steve out on one of the other bigger tractors. He is bush hogging some of the fields. As I come along one side of the field, Steve and I pass one another. We smile through our dust-caked faces and give one another an “air high five”. I don’t know what Steve is listening to, but I am certain my playlist is better.
It’s getting late, probably near 6:00. I know this because I see the chickens standing expectantly in their yard. They know our schedule better than we do and 6:00 means a treat of chicken scratch and dried mealworms before they are put in for the night.
I drive to the barn and park my tractor next to Steve’s and as I dust off the hood and towel off the dirty seat, I make a silent date to do this all again in about ten days……the playlist yet to be determined.