Don't drive the tractor in your dress-up clothes

The time has come.  The vegetable patch has partially been cleared of tired barren plants.  A bed has been prepared & ready to receive the seeds for next year’s crop of garlic.  The warm summer has transitioned beautifully into a glorious autumn.  The nectarine trees continue to have beautiful huge green leaves while everything around them has gone yellow.  Planting & spraying was a bit more challenging this year with my bum leg.  The weeds got so out of control I feared a “condemned” sign would be nailed on the front door.  I have begun a job of epic proportions to get things back under control.

I do have help and know where I can hire a strong young back when needed.  I also have power tools & I know how to use them. I started to write this blog way back before I became disabled by the “ungrateful beast”.  Today has me thinking about the garden and is as a good a day as any to finish up this story.  Here goes…..

You can drive the tractor in your dress-up clothes, but I don’t recommend it.  I was incorrect in my assessment that I could help my neighbor Amy drop mulch without getting dirty… no need to change clothes.  But, here’s the thing, diesel fumes are nasty and you still get  sweaty just from the heat of the engine.   I thought I could scoop & dump for an hour and then still look nice enough to go out in public without embarassing my daughter, wrong & wrong again. It was nice to be able to help out all the same while developing my street cred as a pretty good machine operator.

Ladies if your husband owns a tractor and you think, or have been told, that it’s not safe for you to drive it, you are being duped.  It is a carefully guarded man-secret that tractor driving is great fun AND it doesn’t take a Y chromosome to be able to do it.  We have a regular Kubota club in my hood.  Of the 6, all but 2 of them are driven almost exclusively by women.  The two super-big ones are both owned by the young woman with the horse farm.  These behemoths can move 900 pound round bales without revving the engine.  I have never seen my next door neighbor Herb on their tractor, it’s always Kathy.  She has a pretty big one too… back hoe, front loader, and a sizable chipper… all girl operated.  Our tractor is a respectable BX24 with front loader & back hoe.   The bucket is kinda small but it still beats moving compost with a wheel barrow, it gets the job done.

Probably the most tractor fun I ever had was when we knocked down Susan’s two-stall horse barn.  It was f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c!  Four girls, one tractor & a couple of sledge hammers.  That was the first time that I met Gale, a statuesque beauty with a sense of humor.  She’s a beast with a 10 lb sledge.  So it was all going OK, yes we were having problems & things got a tiny bit dangerous at times.  I mean we’re girls, we weren’t trained from birth to destroy things like the others.  We were having great fun but our efforts were  misdirected and ineffective at times.  When Amy suggested asking her husband to lend us a hand I immediately took a defensive posture “no way” a guy will just suck the fun out of everything”!   I was so wrong.

Amy gives a call & 30 seconds later we hear Nick start up his Kubota.  He arrives all smiles, happy to be called away from his desk. While we ladies had loads of enthusiasm, Nick had skills.  Best of all, he was able to guide us without lecturing, correcting, and ordering us around. Guess what?  We had even more fun with a lot less trouble.

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  1. Kim on October 18, 2012 at 1:17 am

    I am going to drive our Kubota! Thanks for the kick in the pants. My chores usually revolve around the kitchen sink, but it’s time to get the fall garden going…

    • smalamed on October 18, 2012 at 7:08 am

      Kim, wear your seat belt & expect to spend a lot less time at the kitchen sink!

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