Thursday, September 11, 2008

Before we moved here, I had everything figured out. Everything was planned in my head.

Always, I have mowed our various lawns. I enjoy it, I need the exercise and since Tom works hard at his job (and has a variety of herniated discs in his back), I accept this task without complaint. I also planted all flowers and did all landscaping myself, again, because I wanted to. For pert near 30 years, in fact.

So my plan was this: we'd move to this farm, and Life would stay the same, just on a larger scale. I would, as always, do all the mowing and landscaping, but now, Tom would putter in the barn. Do lightweight woodworking projects. He'd work his power plant job and we'd pay other guys to do the big projects here. And Tom would fix small appliances for me in the barn and put up shelves to keep things organized while I zip past the doors with the lawnmower and a smile and a wave.


Life Down On The Farm has so not turned out that way. We got out here and suddenly Tom wants to play Old MacDonald. He's done way too much heavy lifting and all he does is talk and eat and dream tractors, tractors, tractors. All of his sentences begin with, "If we had a tractor..." All day long it's, "A tractor would save us money. A tractor would make our life easier. We need a tractor out here." blah...blah...blah... I asked him to wait until next year to think about tractors and he said okay. Then talked about getting one twenty minutes later.

And now not only does he want to mow these lawns--with a tractor, not a lawnmower, of course, (mowing after 30 years of being a non-mower!), but suddenly he notices flowers everywhere and he asks me what they are called. He tells me where we should plant all these flowers. He even wants to dig up wildflowers along the road--but I won't let him. I'm too chicken--property lines and farmers with guns and all that.

Argh. Who is this man??

For three months we have argued about tractors (sometimes when I catch him peeking at Craig's List tractors). I have tried talking him out of a tractor because they are too expensive--we need the money for projects around the house (to which he says, "Exactly! A tractor can do those projects." To which I ask, "It can add a half-bath upstairs or put in a new kitchen??!). And they're dangerous--I've heard horror stories. They're time-consuming, they break down and they take expensive diesel. And Tom is supposed to be taking life easier now, not taking on big messy jobs. And I know how he is--he takes too many risks.
And I'm certainly not going to ride around in a tractor to mow our lawn. I love using our old-fashioned mower , little row by little row, and it's a wonderful work-out for me--and I'm keeping caught-up just fine, especially since two of our neighbors sometimes mow a bit for me.

But still he persisted that we neeeeed a tractor. I asked him to not talk to me about it anymore, but he couldn't help it. His friend at work, Al, (a real-live mechanic), collects tractors like some people collect silver spoons, and whenever he sees a tractor for sale, he calls Tom (if I'm nearby, Tom practically whispers to Al on the phone. They and their covert phone calls.).

Finally this week I admitted to myself that I'm sick of arguing about tractors. And I'm tired of being afraid of them, too--of their expense and danger and whatever else. And mostly I was tired of this lack of peace which always means--somewhere--I took a wrong turn. I so need and crave daily peace in my life and I hate it when it's missing.

So when I woke up Tom on Tuesday morning I told him, "I give up. I know when to quit. Just get your tractor. I'm not going to argue about it anymore. Just do me a favor--please try not to talk with me about tractors. Ok? Just talk to Al about them. Oh, but there's one thing.... If you can shop for a tractor, then I can shop for things for the house. It's only fair."

Well, my little speech totally made Tom's day. He emailed Al about it and they had a good cyber laugh together. And life has been a whole lot better around here. Peaceful. And I expect that it will stay that way if I stay in the Trusting God Mode rather than the Fear-Based Mode. That just may please God a whole lot more...
Nothing is worth losing peace.

We'll see how things go.
You're probably wondering--yes, Tom knows I'm writing this post. He asked me yesterday if I'd written it yet. He wants to read it. heh.


Betsy Mc said...

Tracters are big and scary but I learned to drive one when I was 12years old. Not on roads so I did not need a license. I could get it out of the barn, drive along the side of the field with the bull and pull it into the fields for vegetables. True, I did not get to actually run it in the fields but I would bring it to the ones who were more experienced in farm work. Probably today that would be considered child endangerment or something---back then farm kids just did that.

Betsy Mc

Nancy said...

Just accept it! It's a guy thing!
My husband's best friend collects antique tractors, and has many! My DH would love one, but the closest we've come is a John Deere, ride-on mower.
Next, you'll need a front-end loader, snow blade, and who knows what else. It will all come in handy, and I won't be surprised if you learn to operate it!

sheila from life @ #17 said...

I have no idea what Al or Tom look like but I'm just sittin' here smiling over my mental photo of the 2 of them whispering on the phone :) far, DH is happy with his riding lawn mower...we have 1 acre plus 1 wooded acre...

if we ever move to a place with more land, then I expect we'll be having the same sorts of conversations :)


Laurie said...

I know one of the horror stories you're thinking of Debra - regarding the tractor. It was a fluke.

Guys have thier dreams too - he probably has fantasized about a tractor as much as you have about the curtains, and the knick knacks and the gardens! Women and men tick differently. It's kind of a neat thing God devised ;-)

On a positive note - my husband has one and it comes in pretty darn handy! (You'll get that dirt back to your new garden area a whole lot easier...!)

Pat said...

Sounds like a good husband/wife relationship to me. Give a little take a little.
When my Dad had a second home which was a farm, he bought a VERY used tractor, I can still see the joy in his eyes when he drove it, and even more when the grandkids sat on his lap for a little ride up the driveway.
Life is full if give and take, isn't it?!

Judy said...

Oh. This makes me SO thankful for my little lawn and matching little lawn mower and the big guy who mows it.

Tractors. Big time equipment.

Can't wait to see the picture!

Karen said...

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! I don't know if you meant this post to be funny, but it sure tickled me! I have to say I'm on Tom's side on this one. He may already know about this site, but if not he should check out It's all things tractor-licious for those with that addiction.

Our tractor (1951 Ford 8N) has been useful, and they're not really dangerous as long as you use common sense.