Before I moved to Maine, if you had said not only would I own a tractor, but I would name it, and absolutely adore it, I would have told you a) no, I won’t own one b) if I did, why would I anthropomorphize it with a name and c) adore a tractor? Pretty sure I said the same thing about owning a minivan, but I digress.
Last night we experienced our first Nor’easter, which dropped a foot of very wet, very heavy, incredibly beautiful snow. We can’t tell there is a field in the back past the mowed grass area, and so the non-forested five acres we have looks huge, including the snow-bound 400′ driveway.
This year, after purchasing the house in Maine, we knew we were going to need a riding mower, at minimum, but with more than seven acres, including forest, we decided we would probably need more. Enter Emily. Emily was hubs’ choice, and we didn’t get her until about a month after the house, so by the time she arrived, the lawn was in serious need of mowing, and she needed a name, but nothing was right.
When the kids arrived from their holiday in Alabama, they got to meet the tractor, and in order to explain hydraulics, we used the monarch butterflies we used to captive rear as an example. Sounds weird, right? If you have ever seen a caterpillar eclose from its chrysalis, it is simply astonishing; the abdomen is huge and distended, the wings tiny and useless. As the butterfly dries, it pumps its abdomen, forcing the fluid into the wings, plumping and unfurling them. Like this. It’s a three minute video, but if you have never witnessed it before, it’s fascinating!
The point of the preceding paragraph was that my kids have seen this many, many times, and it was the perfect example to explain hydraulics, they grasped the concept, and because we had borrowed a book from the library when they were little, and it was about “Emily the butterfly”, oldest spawn immediately slapped the “Emily” moniker on the tractor, and it stuck, so Emily she is.
As a side note: we are weirdos, and have named all of our vehicles. My van is “Arthur Dent”, because my kids are ginormous smart-asses, and after I had gotten t-boned, the van had a huge dent in it, thus Arthur (thanks, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). When we purchased hubs’ car, we went with the deep blue color, which immediately earned it the name “The TARDIS”, a la Dr Who. Yes, we are a family of total geeks, why do you ask?
When we purchased Emily, we put half down in cash, so I like to joke with hubs and tell him that my half is the paid off one, but in reality, we both knew he would be using her 90% of the time. Well, as it turns out, I usually do the mowing, but we argue over who gets to do so, and same with the snow removal. It’s fun to be out and about on the tractor, because it’s fresh air, and really, we’re city slickers, so: TRACTOR!
We have a list of implements we want to purchase, including a snow blower, and a tiller, but man, the tractor itself was dear enough, start adding on those implements, and the whole enchilada costs twice as much as my van is worth. We use the front end bucket to shove snow around, and it does the trick for now, but I feel the snow blower coming *sigh*. Using just the bucket, I was able to go dig out the mailboxes, and help my neighbors knock down some huge snow piles left by their plow man, which impeded their line of sight to get out to the road. They rewarded me with a pineapple. I put the pineapple in Emily’s cup holder for the ride home, and I cackled the whole way: a pineapple in the tractor in December in Maine. It was an amusing visual.
To wind this down, it is gorgeous here, and I adore my John Deere.