Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Some Days It Comes Easy

The topic is right there, the prose fall easily from my dancing fingertips and a post is done.

Other days I struggle. There are things out there to blog about, but nothing catches my eye, or my ire. Either my interest level is low or I am just not tuned into the world in the right way.

Since I am writing this on Monday night, it could be the rain. Or the fact that it is a Monday. Who knows? Who cares?

But I have to post something. Worse yet, something Interesting. and I got.... Nuthin'.

Then I thought about a writing genre I heard about called Flash Fiction. basically, you pick a random image from somewhere, and write about it.

And hope it turns out good.

No; its not for sale. It may look like scrap iron, but it ain't.

That sir, is Grandpa's tractor. First one in the neighborhood that ran on gas. Everybody else was still plowin' with mules and Grandad bought a tractor. The Johnson's over toward Miller's Junction, they had a steam tractor from way back when. They'd rent it out at threashin' time; one bushel outta ten went home with them, and you supplied the fuel.

My ole' Dad would complain about spendin' a week cuttin' and splittin' cord word and that steam belchin' monster would eat it up in an afternoon.

Then Grandad managed to get a few coins together and bought this tractor.. He'd take one bushel outta 15, and supply his own gasoline. Bought it down at the hardware store; 36 cents a gallon in a glass jug. how he managed to rattle that thing all over the county with foot well full a' glass jugs a' gasoline and never bust one I'll never know.

I'd go with him sometimes, when we went to a close neighbor's place. Rattlin' down the hard packed dirt roads, 5 jugs a' gasoline bangin' against each other and the hard metal of the foot well. The engine makin' the whole thing shudder like the devil himself was draggin' on the rear and the iron treads slappin' on the road, jarrin' my eyeteeth loose.

But we was kings then. Me and Grandpa. Ridin' the wave a' the future while everyone else rode the back of a mule. I can still hear the pop of the exhaust, and smell the fumes, mixed with other smells; smells that were mixed and separate, all at the same time.

Hot metal and hot oil and hot water. The smell of dust hanging raw in the air, and burning where it landed on the exhaust. And occasionally a whiff of Grandpa's bay-rum after shave. 

Grandad did his last threshin' run about '24 or '25 I believe. There weren't but one or two farms left still usin' mules by then. Money was flush and everybody had a machine on the farm; Henry Ford had seen to that. He parked old Avery in a corner of the machine shed, and only fired her up once in a blue moon, to do some little job around the farm. Dad was running the farm then, and Grandpa was like Avery; re-tired.

A few years after Grandpa died Dad needed the room in the machine shed for some new piece of equipment or the other and pulled old Avery out into the snow. I got her runnin' a few times, kept her oiled and all. Just like Grandpa did, I'd find some small job she could do and put her to work. Till the War anyway. Then we couldn't spare the time or the gas and oil.

So there she sits. And it ain't scrap iron; that's Grandpa's tractor.

No comments: