You have always heard the saying, “that if you do not like the weather in Kansas just wait a few minutes and it will change”. Nothing could be closer to the truth this past week. We have had all kinds of different weather wind, rain, snow, ice all this week. I am not complaining about the moisture, if you remember last year we could not buy a drop of liquid. When Jim and I went out to feed the cattle on Saturday - everything was going fine- slow and muddy- but we were making the rounds, in the last pasture I got stuck. I could not believe it. I do not know why I was surprised, I have been stuck almost anywhere a person could - I have been stuck on a gopher hole, in the bottom of a terrace, but just in the middle of the flat pasture - who would have thought that would happened? We were even in the 4-wheel drive truck.
When I get that familiar stinking feeling I can remember Dad yelling at me because I buried the tractor. I farmed for Dad when I was in high school. I was plowing east of the house. It had rained a few days before and I was turning up the moist soil and I knew that I was getting close to the mud hole - but I thought that I could make just one more round - I was sadly mistaken. I tried to raise the plow but in my panic I lowered it instead and that sealed my fate. I tried to get out by rocking it back and forth like I had seen Dad do but nothing would budge. I had to walk to the house to get Dad to pull me out. He was not overjoyed but when he saw the tractor was sitting on an angle out in the middle of a flat field- he got that look. I knew that he was not happy at all. He told me that I did not need to go to axles to know that I was indeed stuck. I explained to him that I tried to get out and he said that he could tell and that was not one of my better ideas. Then he told me that it was alright to just get a little stuck and I did not have to completely bury the bottom half of the tires. Then he mumbled something about me pulling the heart out of ole’ Casey (that was the tractor).
Mom never liked to pull or be pulled out of a sticky situation. She was happy when one of us was around to help Dad out. Dad gave us to warning about a chain breaking and coming back through the windshield and cutting our heads off. This little bit of information was disturbing. So while he would be hooking up the chain I would be practicing ducking so I could hit the passenger seat at a moments notice. I thought too, that being really short at the time was to my advantage. I cannot imagine what he would have thought if he saw me working on dodging the invisible flying chain. Sometimes he would pull me backwards I thought that I would prefer that but Dad said it was worse as you could not see it coming.
Then Dad found out about the large pull ropes. He could not wait to get one of those. We used ropes after that and he thought that they were a little safer. However, being the one that was being pulled was still a frightening experience. While being pulled by a chain Dad would ease up and tighten the chain slowly- well, somewhat slowly- But with the pull rope he would rev up the truck or tractor - and I was sitting in drivers seat of the stuck vehicle, palms sweating, stomach in knots, praying- trying to get my life right with God, thinking about if I could duck a rope if it would snap back. He would back up as close to the stuck object as he could and then with the rpms in the red- get a run at the wide open spaces. He would hit the end of the rope and it would stretch and on a good day my vehicle would start to move forward and life was good.
As horrifying as I thought that was at the time- it really is a fond memory- especially since we both lived through it.