Thursday, September 20, 2012

Old Tractors

Like most people who live in the country, I've driven the odd tractor or two.

The first time I drove a tractor was pretty cool. I was around twelve, living with a foster family, and all of us kids were given the job of stick-picking.

Stick-picking, for those of you who don't know, is when you clear a paddock of sticks, rocks or anything else before it's able to be plowed.

Everyone walks behind the tractor gathering up those objects. They're then thrown onto a trailer the tractor is pulling.

Combine kids and rich black soil, and you can imagine the fun we had.

The tractor we used was an old Fordson Major, just like the one in the photo. Painted blue and with a lever which you pushed up to go forward and down for reverse.

My foster dad was one of those guys who believes every kid should have a go at farmwork, so he split the time up equally with all of us having half hour driving it.

Oh my word, it was the most fun a kid could have. Sitting up on that black leather seat, feeling powerful and scared and excited. There's nothing like it.

When we purchased our own small property, it came with its own Fordson Major. That's it in the picture above. Notice the old tomato soup can on the exhaust pipe? That's to stop the rain from pouring into the motor. One of hubby's brainwaves. Odd but it worked perfectly.

Memories came flooding back of learning to ride a motor bike, picnics beside a dam, hot sticky days and riding our pushbikes to the main road, leaving them under a piece of tin and catching the bus for an hour long ride to school.

I love that old tractor.

What childhood memory comes flooding back to you?



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