Farm Wife in Training: The color of the Tractor is very important

Dear Country Boy is a John Deere guy.

When he got a new tractor this summer he got me a pink John Deere Hat. He jokes that the hat was expensive, but it is worth it because it came with a free tractor. (He has since added a pink John Deere hooded sweatshirt to my wardrobe too.)

It took me awhile to memorize it, but the tractor he bought is a 7405. Apparently these numbers are important. To me it means a big tractor. He tried to explain to me once about how the numbers mean something about the series, and what number in the series it is, but I can’t keep it all straight.

The tractor’s main job is to mow the weeds in the pastures, and drag the riding arena. I have never used a tractor to drag a riding arena before. A 4 wheeler, yes, but never a tractor. I had never even driven a tractor before this summer.

My first ride on the John Deere 7405 was truly romantic. Dear Country Boy took me up the field road to the top of the hill, at sunset. It was pretty, seeing the pinks and reds in the sky, looking down at his farm. Awwww……..

The next time I went for a ride along, we were actually working-mowing weeds in the cow pasture on the rented county farm land.

Let me paint the scene:

With the drought this summer, the weeds had gotten out of control. I am sitting on the fender enjoying the ride, when Dear Country Boy starts explaining what each of the gazillions levers does. I respond by politely nodding and smiling. I am more preoccupied watching the longhorns wander about the pasture, feeling the wind in my hair, listening to the hum of the mower blades chopping down thistle bushes the size of small trees.

We go for a little ways, then guess what? It’s my turn! Whoa….what?

Ummm…..ok. This is more than a little scary! I do not want to be responsible for wrecking the expensive tractor that Dear Country Boy just got! Besides, I wasn’t paying very close attention to what the levers and pedals do and how it all worked.

Big deep breath. I drive a stick shift car. The tractor has a clutch pedal. Same thing, right? I can do this! Maybe…..

I move over to the drivers seat, and Dear Country Boy sits on the fender. He calmly explains (again) how each lever works, two for gears, another for forward, reverse, or park. He shows me again how to work the PTO to run the mower.

I put the tractor in gear, and ease off the clutch. And we are off! I can do this! I can drive the tractor! I can mow down thistles that are taller than me! I feel like a 15 and a half year old with their temps, driving a car for the first time. Acceleration is unsteady, braking sudden, and steering erratic, but I am driving the tractor!  Dear Country Boy (somehow) remains calm throughout my learning process, offering helpful instruction when I need it, and occasionally saying “Maybe next time don’t turn the corner that sharp.” I have decide that when we have kids, he will be the one that teaches them how to drive.

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Since that day, we have worked on my tractor driving skills (and they have greatly improved-I have only almost ran him over once-while hooking up the arena drag.) Now Dear Country Boy lets me drag the riding arena unsupervised! I consider my grade on this Farm Wife in Training Lesson an A+. Dear Country Boy, on the other hand, might disagree with that.

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