Late August (year 1)
The Animal Dealership and the local museum. LWG and I stoppe in the museum to look around, get a feel for the local history. The patron asked if we would like to participate in a little scavenger hunt. She said they like to offer all the newcomers this fun little “get to know the area” task. We said sure. But when we arrived at the animal dealership, we found there was an issue between the museum proprietor and the owner of the animal dealership. A large disagreement, as it turned out. The animal dealer refused to participate. Small towns sure have axes to grind.
After the disappointing event at the animal dealer, LWG said we should just get to work. He had struck a deal with a local house builder, who specialized is rustic looking cabins. The cabin was mostly pre-fab but the quality was high and it could be constructed in short order. The warranty was magnificent as well. So, I agreed, and they said construction would begin immediately. The home would be fully ready by the beginning of winter. If it wasn’t the company would put us up in a temporary home.
We leased a couple of mowers, and a large self-propelled mower for the fields LWG had purchased right near the farm. At the dealership, I had my eye on a JCB FastTrac. Beautiful black bodywork with yellow accents. Much to my surprise, LWG said it would be an excellent starter tractor. It had plenty of power, and was considerably smooth on the road. Plus he wanted to test it with the mowers. I knew there would be an ulterior motive. He’s a sly one, but I know him all too well to be fooled by his quick agreement.
Back at the farm, we hired some local help to assist with the mowing. There are several farming contractors in the area. Most of them specialize in different aspects of farming from mowing to mulching to applying lime and fertilizer. Some of the harvesting contractors even bring their own equipment. This could prove valuable when the wheat barley, and corn harvests are ready.
Later that evening I received a call from LWG. I was on the road and had my cell set to send an automated reply about me driving. When I found a place to pull over, I checked the voicemail. I was greeted by an excited, if not more than a little manic, voice. “I just scored us a Case Prototype tractor. It’s going to be perfect for a lot of the heavy lifting. I can’t wait for you to see it, so don’t take too long in North Carolina. Talk soon.”
I sat there, truck idling, on the shoulder of the highway. Traffic zipped by me, some drivers leaning hard on the horns. And likely flipping me the one-finger salute. My heart was racing and moisture formed under my arms. I could nearly feel my hair getting greasy. New equipment was so exciting. And with this revelation about a prototype tractor.
When I think back on that moment, I was amazed at how anxious I had become about getting back to the farm. I never wanted the farm. I was happy to just let it be. It was LWG who talked me into. Rather his excitement was infectious. He would rattle on and on about tractors and harvesters, and cattle and pigs. And corn, corn, corn. He gave me the entire history of corn. How it started out as a short grass, and over hundreds of years of selective breeding created the huge nine-foot tall stalks. The only thing he said that really piqued my interest about corn was domestication. He said corn was one-hundred percent domesticated. If humans weren’t around to love and nurture corn, it would vanish from the ecosystem in a few short years.
Ultimately, I made my way back onto the highway, headed eastbound toward North Carolina where life more stressful still existed.