When I got back home today, after the farmers’ market, I was listening for the mower. Bill was taking advantage of this beautiful day to enhance the paths he’s been creating through our fields. No mowing sounds – not good news. I started looking for where he might be, following the mowed areas around the back of the barn and into the field. After a few minutes I heard him calling my name. He was on foot – another bad sign. He was in the field behind the house – no mower in sight. You see where this going?
He decided to add to the field paths by going over to the area near the small pond, over by the swampiest part of our land, 2 days after a huge rain. And he got stuck. So we went to the barn to get the big tractor so we could pull the little tractor out of the swamp. Only we got the big tractor stuck in the mud – not just a small, wheels spinning in mud stuck, but deeply stuck up to the motor in mudslide stuck. So fess up time – I walked ahead of Bill on the tractor. I was so busy trying to pull my boots out of the mud, I forgot to warn Bill that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to drive the big tractor through the mud. We abandoned the big tractor.
We decided to see what we could do for the little tractor. So we walk through the muck to the little tractor. He pushes, I maneuver it – we try avoiding the clawing branches of hawthorns surrounding us. Somehow we make progress – a step forward, a couple steps back, swivel this way, then that. We get on the dry pine needles and start working our way through the forest. Not a straight path by any means, trees have fallen, branches are in the way. But somehow we manage to move the tractor inch by inch by going backwards away from the swamp, further into the forest and back out on dry terrain. This is where we were:
After getting the little yellow tractor free, we went back to Big Red. It seemed completely hopeless and we were certain it was a “call Vern” situation – Vern with the huge tractor who could pull us free, much like he pulled us out of a snow-filled ditch on Bissell Road. But Bill’s persistence kept us going. Between claw and bucket swivelling the tractor to mildly drier land, and a 40 pound chain wrapped around a tree to pull us closer to terra firma, we managed to get Big Red unstuck as well.
From this vantage point we can happily say the paths through the fields are definitely worth the struggle.