Grit Blogs > Close the Gate

Old Farm Truck Volume 1

A photo of Nancy KraayenhofStrange things fascinate me. I find myself looking at things from statistical and probability points of view and I want to know how things got to be the way they are.

For instance … in order to get the barrel train out of storage for our church picnic and the combine out to get it ready for harvest we had to rearrange the storage shed we were using. It was my job to crawl into the seat of the old 1965 grain truck we fondly call the “Ton-er” and steer it while husband, Doug, pulled it out of the way with the tractor.

In case you didn’t know it, I am a girl and getting into the seat of a truck that has been sitting in a farm building for a good nine months or so without moving is no easy task. First of all, there are spider webs stringing from the outside mirrors to the box going past and weaving through the door handles, and though no arachnids are apparent, I know they are there somewhere just laying in wait to attack whatever is planning to disturb their spun homes. Secondly, this is not what you might call a sealed vehicle and the creatures that have surely made their homes in and under the seat and around what’s left of the floorboards are also waiting to assault the unsuspecting female instructed to disturb their abodes.

I am not disputing the value of this truck. It starts right up, runs and drives well when equipped with a charged battery. The hydraulics dump the box with the best of them, the sides are sound and it certainly has worth. The baby blue exterior would shine right up with some wax, I’m sure. However, the seat and interior have seen better days. The sun, time and just outright use have taken their toll on the inside of this vehicle ... I’m just saying.

I try not to be a wimp, and I really do attempt to do as instructed. "Get in the truck and steer it while I pull it" should have been much easier than it was turning out to be. I quickly scanned the area for a stick, a rag, anything that I could use besides my hand to clear away the webs blocking my entry. I thought of kicking them out of the way but considering they were about or over chest high, that option was quickly dismissed as my high-kicking days have diminished to rare occasions and I had planned to walk the next day. There was nothing.

Suddenly, my knight in shining armor (jeans and a t-shirt) noticed my obvious hesitance, dismounted his steed (tractor) and calmly cleared away the webs and opened the door so we could get on with the task at hand. I glanced at his retreating back instantly wishing he had offered to remove his shirt to cover up the seat with the rotting foam rubber exposed and full of Lord only knows what kind of creatures, but no such luck.

I tried not to look at the mouse-poo laden floor; “Buck up, little soldier,” I told myself, held my breath, climbed in, pushed in the clutch, moved the shifter to neutral and the pulling commenced. I flashed back to a time several years ago when the same scenario was taking place and Doug said that the brakes in the truck didn’t work. He was pulling me down a back street in Steen and I decided to test his statement. The first time I hit the brakes they went to the floor with no results but the second time! They grabbed like a child’s hand in a candy jar and about yanked the man off the seat of that tractor. Suffice to say he was not amused. I vowed this time I was going to use all my will power to keep my foot off the brake and, trust me when I say; it took about all I possess.

I noticed several things on this little trek and I really can’t wait to tell you about them, however….

They limit the number of words I can use; I’ve taken up the space that is mine,

I guess I’m just forced to leave this gate open and finish my story next time, hands dirty!