Yesterday started out innocently enough. I got up on time. The girls got up mostly on time. Everybody ate and got ready to leave. We were on time. Not exactly a normal occurence.
Since it had been raining for a few days, it is pretty muddy around the house. This is country life, and you just learn to deal with it. I told my daughter who normally lets out the chickens to wait until we left, and I would drive up to the chicken house so she wouldn’t have to walk through the mud. I thought I was being all sweet mom. Right.
So, this is what I get for being sweet mom.
Note: We were all piled into my husband’s truck because the transmission on our van is acting up. Since we have a long way to drive into town, we played vehicle swap. My husband borrowed my dad’s truck (which only seats 5), and we took my husband’s truck which seats a tight 6.
Anyway, my daughter hops out, opens the door to the chicken shed, and hops back in. Less than one minute. We’re obviously not going anywhere fast. I rock the truck (reverse, drive, reverse, drive). No go. So, she and I get out and start looking for boards to put under the tires, but it’s so wet and muddy that everything just slips out from under the tire. And slings mud for 40 feet. At least I made sure the windows were rolled up.
I call my husband, and he says he’ll come home to pull me out. Well, that’s an hour drive one way, and by then our whole day will be gone. No deal. “Where is the tractor key?” Long pause. “Are you sure?” My response, “Do I have a choice?”
Now, I have driven a tractor, but not this one. It’s really my dad’s toy. We had a bigger tractor, but it was difficult for my dad to drive. So, we went in together to buy one that is easier to handle. It’s not big, but it does a reasonable job and allows my dad some freedom to putter around.
I get the tractor started and moved in behind the truck. No small structures were harmed in the drive.
Then, we had to get the chain that was still attached to something else. I don’t know what I was thinking, but a chain strong enough to pull a 3/4 ton truck is probably heavy. Very heavy. It took two of us to carry it. My oldest daughter says she helped, too, but really she just carried one hook. Thanks hon. Got that all hooked up, and the littles line up at the window to watch the show. They thought it would be safer inside, I guess.
Now, the fun begins. I explain the difference between R and D and brake and gas to my 14 year old. Her eyes are as big as saucers, whether from excitement or sheer terror is hard to say. Anyway, I need someone at the wheel to help. First, we tried putting the truck in neutral, but it’s too heavy and muddy to pull. So, I tell her to put it in R, but no gas. It wouldn’t be helpful if the truck backed over the tractor, especially with me on it. And off we go.
We got it out of the first hole only to have it sink again, so I ended up pulling it a few hundred feet until we got back on grass and harder ground. This was when knowing the difference between the brake and the gas came in handy. She took a long minute to react, but she finally remembered and stopped the truck a few feet from the tractor. Whew. I think I could have executed a Boerne leap to safety, but let’s not test that hypothesis.
This is the second time it has come in mighty handy. The day we got the tractor, my husband’s truck (the same one here) had a flat tire. Because the ground is so soft, even when it’s dry, we couldn’t lift the truck high enough with a jack to change the tire. My dad moved the tractor in place and lifted the truck just enough to give my husband room to change it.
Make all the redneck jokes you want. We like it here.