Early on, Dad found an old International Model H tractor, much like one that Uncle Jim would have had back in the day. It ran, didn’t look fantastic, but not bad. He drove it all the way from home to the farm. Quite a ride, well over 25 miles. He stuck to the back roads to avoid as much traffic as he could, but most farmers will understand, not everybody in a vehicle was happy with him being on the road. It made for an interesting and nerve racking drive, but he got it done. That was Dad. If it needed to be done, he would do it, period.
The farmer that farmed the place at the time gave him an old sickle bar mower which he used as much as possible (the mower was old, and required a lot of additional attention, plus it tended to get plugged up quite a bit. Again, Dad would do what he had to do to keep mowing. He wanted to keep that farm looking sharp, and he accomplished that despite any roadblocks put up by machines. He had the farmer gene in him, when it breaks, don’t whine about it, fix it and move on. Not that he didn’t get a little bit “tee’d off” at times, but what else can you do, you drive down 25 miles one way to mow, the mower breaks, you fix it so you didn’t make the trip for nothing.
As time moved on, it became apparent that the old tractor and mower were more trouble than they were worth. He broke down and got a riding mower and continued to maintain the park like lawn in the front end. He still kept the tractor running, and he cleaned it up and painted it, not to show condition, but it still, to this day, looks pretty good, dusty maybe, but good.
The old tractor became the center of fun for Dad during family celebrations. All the young kids took their turn riding with grandpa and the look in Dad’s eye’s told a story of complete pride, contentment and happiness, a feeling that he had all the time, but it really showed at the farm.