Well, last weekend my cousin finally came through with the funds, and bought our 1954 John Deere 50 farm tractor. Of course, when he came to look at it last Saturday, the batteries were dead and it wouldn't start, and we also found a crack in the coil. So, this week I spent charging both batteries, replaced the coil, and drained the old gas out of the gas tank. Today, Caleb and I filled the tank with fresh gas, installed the batteries back in her, and like clockwork, she fired right off without even making a full revolution.
We all hate to see the tractor go, and Caleb was a little disappointed because he never got to learn how to drive it. Well, I told him to straddle my knee, and we headed to the Church down the street. Once in the parking lot, I changed positions with him, and gave him the in's and out's of driving the tractor. He handled that tractor better than some old time farmers that I know. He looked like he had spent years driving that tractor. After about an hour of driving and learning, we headed back towards home. I was feeling proud of myself that I got to show him how to drive the 50 and for caring, and he was feeling real proud of his accomplishments.
My cousin came around 6:30 tonight to drive the tractor home, an believe me, it hurt to watch him leave. Since it was dark, we turned the lights on for his travel, and after he was out of sight, I only realized that, that was the first time I ever had the lights on. I felt a sense of lose as he was driving away. Seeing our old tractor pull away, gave a feeling like I just lost a close family member. All I could do was just stand there, watching, and listening to the sound of the famous putt-putt-putt driving away in the distance.
Now I know, it's just a tractor, and it is just a material thing, but this tractor has been a part of our collection for years. The kids and I have had such good times on this tractor, driving it around town, teaching them how the tractor operates, upsetting the neighbors with the straight stack, and spending good father, sons and daughter time together. I'll sure miss the old girl and the times that we have spent together, but I guess this is what it takes to make fond memories!