The weather forecast seems to have a big influence on our activities these days. A forecast of rain turning to snow makes us think of those unfinished jobs that still need to be done outside while we have bare ground and above-freezing temperatures.
Usually there are small jobs such as bringing in the outdoor furniture and, in what for me is the last act of summer, disconnecting, draining and hanging the garden hose in the shed.
That means summer is really over.
Saturday was parking the tractors in the shed for the winter. The last of the tillage was done and the tractors will not move until spring so they were parked in a shed we have not quite a mile from here.
My son was the tractor driver and I was the shuttle operator returning him for another tractor as each one was backed into place.
First the four-wheel drives went in. Before that could be done, implements had to be disconnected and parked.
The ripper was backed into its place along side the other tillage equipment. Then the plow was unhitched and while we were at it, the plow bottoms were coated with a rust preventative.
Once three four-wheelers were in, a couple smaller two-wheel drives that would not be needed until spring were put in the shed.
There was still a little room left for something else so I suggested we buy some more tractors to fill the space. But then again, maybe not.
The sad part of the day was, once the tractors were inside, pulling the sliding door shut on those tractors. It was like sealing a tomb. We knew we would not see those tractors until next spring, a long time from now.
Between now and then, there will be snow – probably lots of it – cold temperatures, days when the high temperature will not reach zero and short days with long nights.
I do not see much joy in the next 90 to 120 days. This will be my 64th winter and I am not used to winter yet.
Putting machinery away where it is protected is a great thing. It is what you do to take good care of your equipment.
It was the finality of closing the shed door that was hard to accept.
As we left the shed with its locked door, I remembered around 60 years ago when I did not like putting my toys away and now I know why.
I did not want to put my toys away because I was not done with them yet and whatever the reason was I had to leave them was an interruption.
It all made sense to me.
The only thing that has changed in 60 years is that the toys are now full size.
To reinforce my epiphany, I remembered my son 30 years ago would farm the living room carpet with his toys and when he had to leave, did not want them disturbed because he was not finished yet.
By now you are thinking of the saying we have heard many times. The difference between men and boys is the size of their toys.
After putting the tractors away for the winter, I have realized that it is more than a saying, it is a fact.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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