Grandpa and the Tractor
When spring finally came to stay Daddy and Mom used to spend the evenings clearing off an area beside the house for a garden. Since there were plants and trees growing everywhere, it took some planning to decide where the perfect spot would be.
They picked out the spot and proceeded to remove several old crab apple trees and all the other bushes and plants that were in the way.
The Amish in Somerset County use tractors for most of their farm work, and one evening when John and I were walking home from school we could see that there was a little blue tractor with a harrow behind it working up the area for our garden. As we got closer we could see it was Daddy driving the tractor. Mom and David were outside watching him. Once we got there we stood beside them and watched in amazement as Daddy drove back and forth across our new garden turning the overgrown patch of yard into a patch of rich fertile soil.
Once he was done he jumped down and said with a big smile, “Well, what do you think of our new tractor?” John wanted to to sit on the seat right away and Daddy let him climb up to see how it is. Not to be outdone by my little brother I had to have a turn too. After we looked at everything Daddy lectured us on the importance of never playing with it.
Several days later Grandpa Mast came to use our tractor and harrow to work up a garden plot for them. Mom asked him if he knows how to operate it and he assured her that he does. John and I ran outside with him as he climbed on the tractor and started it. He started off very slowly and then stopped and asked us if we know how to make it go faster. John and I helpfully climbed up and pointed out the levers and tried to tell him how. And then stood under a tree to watch him try it again. He started the tractor and pulled and pushed at levers and went flying backwards. He stopped the tractor and laughed a little shakily and said “I guess I’ll just have to drive slowly.”
We watched as the tractor inched slowly along and went up the road. Until Grandpa drove that tractor I had no idea it was possible to have it move so slowly.
Want to read more? Visit Mary Ann Kinsinger’s blog A Joyful Chaos.
Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She met and married her husband, whom she knew from school days and started a family. After they chose to leave the Amish church, Mary Ann began a blog, A Joyful Chaos, as a way to capture her warm memories of her childhood for her own children. From the start, this blog found a ready audience and even captured the attention of key media players, such as the influential blog AmishAmerica and the New York Times. She lives in Pennsylvania.