Life's Lessons From The Farm
Life on a farm, even a small farm such as ours, is most generally interesting and rarely if ever is there a dull moment. While I was not raised on a farm, even as a small child I dreamed of living on a farm and as it turns out it is a life perfectly suited to me. There is much to be learned about life from living life on a farm. Some of the lessons are painful, some are sweet and others are just plain joyful but each are certain to touch the heart of the learners.
Jackie has been wanting to take down a line of fencing which divided the property into different sections of pasture. He had put up the fence several years ago when we had some calfs, one being a steer who's only purpose was to eat and gain weight so we could eat and gain weight. The other two were to be used for milk and breeding. The cows didn't last long because someone, (I will refrain from saying who), made it perfectly clear that they would in no uncertain terms eat something they raised, took care of and loved. No longer having any use for the pasture, Jackie decided to open the area back up and reveal the beautiful view which had been obstructed and use the like new materials to better use elsewhere on the farm. When he told me about the plans to remove the fence he had asked for my assistance when it was time to remove the tee-posts and I gladly obliged.
Today shortly before lunch, Jackie came in and asked if I had time to help him take the fence posts down. I was just finishing up making some sweet tea so I grabbed my hat and my boots and headed out the back door. He had everything waiting and told me my job was to operate the tractor. I have helped Jackie with fence posts many times over the years and while we always use the tractor bucket to push or pull them out of the ground, I have always been the ground person. It has always been my job to either hold the post while he pushes them in the ground or wrap a chain around them while he pulls them out of the ground. So when he told me to get on the tractor I was a little dazed and confused at this change of procedure. Now don't get me wrong, I love it when I get to use tractor especially when I get to bush hog and over the years I have become somewhat skilled in operating the bucket. But where we were going to be working was on a downward hill and involved using the brakes a lot! When I asked him why he was changing the way we did things, he told me he had fabricated a new gadget to hook onto the fence posts that eliminated the need for the chain, but he was afraid that I would catch a finger or a hand and get hurt.
So I got up on the tractor and in record time the first fence post came out of the ground. I put the tractor in reverse and then began to slowly and carefully move myself into the proper position for him to hook up the second post. Being well versed in his hand signal language, I watched for his instructions and when I saw his hand come up signaling me to stop I stepped on the clutch and brake but the tractor did not want to stop. Instinctively I put the tractor in neutral and braced my back against the seat and put my entire body weight on the brake. From over the hood of the tractor I caught a glimpse of Jackie's eyes as he came around the side. I don't believe I have ever seen his eyes quite that big before and his mouth was hanging wide open.
After making sure he was alright I asked him how long it had been since he checked the tractor brakes. After he had assured me that the breaks were in good operating condition I told him I did not have enough leg strength to hold the tractor while the bucket was moving on the hillside. I begged him to switch jobs with me but he wouldn't do it. He told me that I was safer on the tractor and he had complete trust in me and I needed to trust him and his years of experience working with people operating heavy equipment. We continued without changing jobs and under the watchful eye of God we were able to complete the job without further incident or injury.
It wasn't until I was making my way back to the house to start making lunch, that I thought about what Jackie had said about trusting one another. We have worked together for so many years now and I had forgotten that it wasn't always as easy in the beginning of our life together. And when I thought on the matter longer, it occurred to me that kind of trust is just one of the many gifts God gives us in marriage. The building, growing , maturing and deepening of the love we felt in the beginning of our life together. Some say that when the newness of love wears off it becomes boring and dull but not me. I say it just gets better every day.
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.
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