It happens every time.
Always when I am innocently, unobtrusively minding my own business, it happens.
This time I was peacefully photographing and reflecting on the miracle that is The Old Pear Tree.
And then from across the pasture I hear The Chief's Voice...
"Lu, get in the Big Tractor and drive it over here. I need to use it to lift up the Little Tractor to take off the tires."
Yep. That's what The Chief's Voice said.
Now don't misunderstand. I've driven the Big Tractor quite a few times.
You see, it's just that each time I drive the Big Tractor and then step out of it I completely forget every bit of information I need in order to be able to drive it AGAIN.
Apparently, The Chief's Voice was under the impression that just perhaps the last (and approximately the 27th) time he instructed me on driving the Big Tractor was the lesson that stuck.
Yep. He's hopeful like that.
Trying to avoid embarrassment, humiliation, disaster, and potential bodily harm ( not only to humans, but also to bovines and canine as there were cows and The Weege in the general vicinity) I yell back "I don't think I remember how!"
"Sure you do" The Chief's Voice calls back. "Just get in, turn the key, put it in gear and go!"
That's The Chief's "I'm Depending On You" Voice. His "You Can Do It!" Voice.
So I have to.
I'm dependable like that.
So, I put the camera away, take a deep breath and
slink over to...
The Big Tractor.
In order to better understand the next sequence of events you'll want to take note of the Front End Loader attached to (of course) the front.
Much to The Chief's mechanical and technical dismay I refer to the Front End Loader as
It's just better for me that way.
Anyhoo, you'll also want to take note of all the "Beware" and "Warning" signs that one is confronted with upon entering The Big Tractor.
You can hit a power line, or have the tractor turn over on you...
You can accidentally drop something on yourself using the Scooper...
You can damage the PTO.
Parent Teacher Organization? I didn't realize they were involved in farm doin's.
More warnings about roll-over.
I find the stark drawings of the anonymous "stick farmer" quite ominous.
Some of the warnings are really long.
I'm just guessing here, but it's possible that not everyone reads these all the way through.
Oh my goodness.
Lot's of warnings about crushing.
So, you get the picture.
I finally navigate my way past all the warning signs and settle into the driver's seat.
This is what you see when you look down and try to remember which pedal does what.
Drat all the pedals.
And Drat all the unidentifible levers.
And double Drat.
Here's basically what happened.
I was surprised and happy to find that I still remembered the technique for turning it on.
After all, you just
turn the key.
I even successfully shifted into reverse (as there was a highly stubborn cow standing directly in my path), and backed up a few feet.
The problems began when I shifted into forward.
There was a terrible jerking.
Kind of like you had just tried to drive with your Parking Brake on, but worse.
I felt sure the problem was connected to my use or misuse of the clutch.
I try again.
Disturbingly bad jerking.
So, I practiced again in reverse.
Everything worked fine.
So what on Earth was causing the problem?
It was at this point that I noticed The Chief gesturing wildly and
walking striding quickly across the pasture.
Not his happy walk.
Not his encouraging walk.
Nor his happy and encouraging gesturing.
And I finally realized what the problem was!
I always work best under pressure.
The Scooper was down and digging into the ground when I tried to go forward!
The Chief didn't seem real impressed when I opened the tractor door to let him know I had solved the problem.
All by myself.
I think I heard him muttering something about thousands of dollars and destroying...
I'm sure though, as usual, he was just relieved and happy I was there to help out.