Tractor Ride

As a farmer’s wife I’ve learned to plan around the weather just as much as Kirn does. If it rains, I can count on him getting home at decent time to sit down and enjoy the new spaghetti recipe I tried from Prego, AKA brilliance in a jar.  But the typical day is one of mild temperature (varying between -10 and 101 degrees) and dry. These are the days I can almost bet that I’ll be the star of Kelly Clarkson’s early 2000 hit, “Miss Independent” until about 9 pm. 

Naturally, I make plans with all my girlfriends to meet at a local pub and get cute drinks in even cuter glasses.

 L-O-L.  

Oh, pardon me for trying to sound like I have a social life that can knock your socks off. What I really meant was I’ll go on a walk with my dog to get ice cream. After we get home and before I crawl into bed, I’ll put a plate of something that can be easily thrown in the microwave for kirn to turn his nose up at when he gets home.  

Full disclosure: I wouldn’t zap an already dried out steak in the microwave and enjoy it either. But if he says one word about it being average… 

Well, today started off as any other normal day does. We woke up and tried to talk about what’s to come for the day. All the while I’m getting ready and he’s drinking coffee with the news on 100% volume (I think Kirn’s soul is equivalent to that of an 80 year old). By 7 am we are both out the door again, with a kiss and a high five. 

 On my drive to work, I get a call from him asking if I had plans after work. I told him quite frankly, I had already committed to an ice cream cone and my favorite corgi but I could potentially move some things around in my schedule to make something work. Not certain if he picked up on my sarcasm and didn’t think it was funny (normal) or if he just wasn’t listening (familiar), but at any rate, he carried on about his where abouts for the day and how many acres he hoped to get through today. But at the end of our conversation he popped the million dollar question. 

“Want to come ride with me tonight?”

Does this mean I have to give up my ice cream? My 26 year old metabolism should be thankful. 

I always look forward to tractor rides. The only distractions are end rows and waterways and the view behind a CaseIH engine never fails to be the perfect place to enjoy each other’s company like a couple of young, married kids. 

I say enjoying lightly as Kirn sits in his air- ride throne and I’m literally sitting on an armrest that is finding it’s way to every bone in my behind. 

Now, I know this is going to be hard to imagine, but I am usually the one filling the tractor with witty humor, sporadic thoughts and singing that imitates Carrie Underwood so well, it’s scary. And while Kirn just sits there and smiles out of the corner of his mouth, I can see he’s enjoying my tractor karaoke too. 

…I won’t make you say it. I know he’s ready for me to sit still for at least a moment. 

I’ve always wondered why the tractor rides he invites me on are so far and few in between…until this very moment as I’m telling you…

Yes, perhaps his smile is because he’s trying to stay patient in the midst of 300 acres of unplanted beans and chatty Kathy in the buddy seat. But more than that, his smile shows the passion he has for the land and the hard work he puts in. He knows what he did yesterday, what he’s doing today and what is going to get done tomorrow, are all baby steps in the grand picture. He knows the hours spent in the cab of this red tractor is worth it. Not just for the pennies but for the legacy his grandpa started long ago, carried through his father and now in the eyes of him and his big brother. 

To me, a tractor ride is a tin foil dinner. To me, a tractor ride means uninterrupted conversation – a chance to tell him about the random shopping trip I took to Maurice’s last week that may have been a little more successful than he would appreciate. To me, a tractor ride is a date night.

To him, a tractor ride is long days. To him, a tractor ride means it’s dry, so let’s work until it’s done – an opportunity to finish more than he anticipated, Lord willing. To him, a tractor ride ride is corn in the ground, fields mowed and raked, hay made into bales, manure hauled and a day well spent. To him, a tractor ride is an occupation. 

To us, a tractor ride is contentment. 

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