January 20, 2011 0 Comments Stories

Sleeping on the 5020

This is really about one of those things that when they happen, it really sucks, but looking back, you would not want any other way.  Moreover, now that I think about it, it is probably one of those things that my Dad did that shaped my own work ethic; the belief that sometimes you just have to get shit down and work all night if you have to.

We had the West Salem farm as long as I could remember.  In the spring it was all about putting the crops out and in the fall it was harvest time.  For us kids, the spring time was the time when we actually had to do things; mainly just pick up rocks all over the 200 acres.  Dad would be running all day and night running the plow, disc, etc until the crops were planted.  During the day, we were out in the field picking up the rocks while he was in the next field over on the tractor. 

At night he usually had me and CJ stay with him while he ran tractor all night long until the job was done.  I remember mom would make hamburgers and bring them to us, which I did not care for much because by the time they arrives, seeing how they were wrapped in foil, you were eating soggy bun. Since CJ was the oldest, he got the best spot on the tractor which was on the one side with lots of room for your legs if you had to sit down or sleep if it was 2AM because dad was not stopping for anything but the weather. Now since I was lower on the totem pole, I got the lovely location of being wedged between the hydraulics. I think I could sleep just about everywhere because if you can sleep through the night on a dusty, loud, and uncomfortable tractor, you can sleep anywhere.

One thing I can still picture in my mind is the image of looking up at my dad, with the dust visible in the glow of the tractor lights, blowing by his head as it just started to rain. So I cannot say I really enjoyed those rides in the tractor when I was a kid, but I was sure looking forward to have Gia spent the spring and fall up with her Papa because he has much nicer equipment now and I know any kid would have a blast riding in the buddy seat. She will never really understand what she will be missing out on.