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Monday, February 23, 2015

City Girl Gets to Drive the Loader Again.

It was 13 degrees Sunday morning and I'm not sure of the temp at chore time last night, but it sure felt bone-chilling, and we have about 4 inches of snow, and it was coming down heavy.  I bundled up to go out and feed the cats, carry the trash, and shovel the sidewalk when I heard Country Boy say, "Come here.  I need your help." I dread these words, not because I don't enjoy helping, but because by the time Country Boy asks for help, it's usually out of desperation, and let me assure you, I'm nearly always substandard help for the task.

The tractor that is attached to the bale processor wouldn't start and was parked in the shed in front of the big loader, which is the only other thing we can use to get hay to the pen full of hungry calves.  Then came the words I, and most wives I know, dread.  "You are going to have to tow me, while I steer this thing."  We tried the old pickup and the tires spun on the snow till they smoked.  We tried another 4 wheel drive pickup.  Same results.  We tried the 4 wheel drive pickup with a bale on the back for weight.  Nope.

I went to the house for more clothes, since even with wool socks and insulated Sorrell boots , my toes were numb. A tiny thought flashed in my mind.  I could have married a banker, lawyer, anybody with an office job.

I then returned and asked Country Boy what plan D was.  Next, I got to steer the tractor while he pushed it with the loader.  We managed to move it far enough that he could get the loader out.  Then I was supposed to hop in the loader and make a big circle and back it up to the tractor so we could pull it out past the haystack.  Well, of course it's probably been two years since I last drove it for a total of 10 minutes, and I'm a little nervous because I know what it cost.  I was putting along in first gear and Country Boy gestures one of his famous hand signals that sort of resembles "STOP!".  He comes over and says, "I'm gonna freeze to death out here waiting for you."  To which I replied, "I'm being careful.  (Which is contrary to my "Get it Done" nature.)  Be thankful I didn't run into anything!"  Shoot, I was just proud that I remembered which 3 pedals were brakes and which one was the accelerator!  Someone who knows my heavy equipment operating ability must have designed this machine.  Lots of whoa and very little go.  He jumped in and put it in another gear, hooked up the tow strap and I pulled him in a big circle, around the light pole, and was just past the point of white knuckles and clenched jaw, and thinking "this rig is fun" when I looked back and saw lots of gestures, none of which made any sense.  Turns out he just wasn't happy with where I was headed.  He, being a perfectionist, "Get it Right", person, wanted it parked some exact distant and angle from the road, adjacent to the haystack.  Never mind the fact that I'm guessing where the road is because of all the snow. 

All is well that ends well. Oh, and that tiny thought I had.  It was followed by these:  Country boy could have married a girl who had been raised out here.  A taller, stronger girl who knew how to operate all kinds of farm machinery.  But where is the fun in that?  And what would I write about?