Saturday, June 6, 2009

John Deere Green

I was driving home from work today and I saw a tractor. I suddenly had a flash of driving Dad's John Deere 70 tractor. It had no cab. I never got to drive it when it had a shade. I don't know if we never owned one, or if I just fell into the time frame when it was worn out from heat, rain and Oklahoma Wind.

We had a heavy four wheel drive Case tractor at that time. It packed the earth too hard for drilling so we used the 70 when my Grandad's tractor was otherwise engaged for drilling. I also got the privilege of using it for spraying and using the spreader.

Have I ever told you that Dad very seldom gave me orders. Every morning while I ate breakfast he would list the things he planned to "let" me do that day. That was his exact words. "Andi, today I'm going to let you drive the tractor." I never dared to say "No thanks, I think I'll go to the lake today instead."

But, back to tractor driving....The spreader was a simple implement that you simply hooked on to the tractor, filled with fertilizer pellets, and as you drove it sprayed the pellets onto the soil. Basically the same as the spreader you find at Home Depot to fertilize your lawn. Only bigger.

Anyhoo, I actually enjoyed the 70. You felt like you were driving really fast because you got to feel the wind in your face and you had to continuously move the steering wheel to keep it on track (picture how little kids pretend to steer and that was the reality with our 70.) Mind you I was probably only going MAYBE 10 mph, but it was all in the perception. I can remember bebopping along and singing at the top of my lungs "She thinks my tractor's sexy...It really turns her on....She always smilin' at me...While I'm chuggin' along." Or how about, "You can set my truck on fire, or roll it down the hill, but I still wouldn't trade it for a Coup deVille. It's got an 8 ft bed that never has to be made, you know if it weren't for trucks they wouldn't have tail gates..." Or maybe even "You know a dream is like a river...Ever changing as it goes..."

Okay...I'm done with our musical interlude.

Remember my previous mentions that I had a tendency to....ummm....well....

What was I talking about?

Oh yeah....I would lose track of what I was supposed to be doing.

Well, one time I was fertilizing the field a mile north of my parents house. I'm guessing it was a quarter section, which thanks to Studmuffin I can translate for you to 160 acres. It was actually a flat field with no terraces.This is very unusual for the Panhandle of Oklahoma. Since there were no terraces I was able to drive around in great big circles...Eventually I would get a feel for how far apart my tire tracks needed to be so that I had maximum coverage, but did not spend all of my time looking behind me to make sure I was covering well. I guess you could say I eventually guesstimated it. Well, this particular time, I was dancing along, standing up (the seat got sweaty after awhile, and that lead to uncomfortable sweaty-booty itchiness. You understand, I'm sure) singing at the top of my lungs when suddenly...

What the heck?

What is that?

Where did it come from?

Did we have another spreader parked in the field?

No, Gentle Reader, of course we didn't. Apparently I had failed to look behind me for quite a while. An entire circle's worth to be exact. At some point my pin had shook out of the hitch, the spreader came unhooked, and the spreader stayed put....

While I continued blithely along, completely ignorant of the fact that I was just driving around in a circle...

Accomplishing nothing.

I quickly pulled up to it, rehitched (I think I ran around frantically looking for the hitch pin, lest I get yet another lecture on inattentiveness) and completed the job.

Never to mention the whole debacle to my parents.

Until my Dad told me about using the spreader one night when it was late. It seems it got dark before he finished, so he was using the headlights to judge the distance between tire tracks....He was driving along, and suddenly the spreader was right in front of him. He decided it was apparently too dark to finish farming that night and called it a day.

I think it runs in the family.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Too funny. I can totally picture you dancing on top of your tractor... now excuse me while I go gouge out my minds eye. ;-) lol