It was time for a trip to the implement dealer to bring our repaired combine home. There was no reason to hurry bringing it home since the remaining 16 rows of corn were harvested by our neighbor and our fields were all empty.
The combine was coming home and going straight into the shed where it will spend the next many months.
Accompanying us to the dealer was my son’s 4-year-old stepson who now has a year of living on a farm and seems to be getting the hang of farm life.
He can ride in a tractor and combine for several hours with a smile on his face mixed with an occasional nap.
The three of us arrived at the dealership and walked in where the parts department was to get some needed bolts for the plow.
My new grandson is a peppy little guy and full of life.
After a few minutes I showed him where the toys were located, and he immediately picked out a tractor and asked if he could have it.
I told him he had picked out one of the most expensive ones so I was not sure about buying it.
Then he spotted the pedal tractors and immediately had to sit in the seat of one on the showroom floor. He wondered about buying that one.
There were no tractors for him that day, but he has a birthday approaching and other occasions in the coming months.
As he and my son headed for the combine to drive it home, I was reminded of my trips to the implement dealer with my dad when I was his age.
I asked the same questions 60 years ago and got the same answers.
Around age 5, I did get my pedal tractor, a Farmall M, that I rode on the sidewalk and anywhere I could pedal it until the tires were worn smooth.
A year or so after I got my Farmall, my sister got her own pedal tractor, a John Deere A. We did a lot of farming with our pedal tractors and never left the front yard.
After about five years of use, we outgrew our interest in our pedal tractors.
One Sunday when my aunt and uncle were visiting with their two boys around the age of 5, as they were leaving, my dad put the two pedal tractors in the back of their car.
I am sure my cousins got whatever life was left in those two pedal tractors out of them. There was probably nothing left of them after they were done.
So here it was 60 years later. Farmall Ms and John Deere As, be it a full sized or a smaller version, are called antiques.
Tractors today have climate-controlled cabs, satellite guidance and more horsepower than we could have imagined all those years ago.
There are a lot fewer dealers and a lot fewer farmers today.
But a trip to the implement dealer by a young boy has not changed, especially when looking at the boxes of toy tractors stacked on a wall. The same questions are asked and the word “no” is frequently part of the answer.
However, the adult giving the answer knows that in all likelihood, that “no” is a temporary answer.
There is a “yes” that is coming at a future date, probably not too far away.
As much as farming has changed, there are a few things that have not changed and I hope it stays that way.
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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