I am from rural, North GA. I describe myself as a farm girl. A sidelined Appalachian chick waiting to be re-released into the wild (aka her and her hubby finish their education/work contracts and move out of Middle GA).
I grew up in a town of about 3,000 people. I didn’t know everyone Andy Griffith Show style, but I did know everyone my own age. And my parents knew everyone their age, and my grandparents knew everyone their age…so when in doubt, if you named enough relatives to a stranger, eventually you’d list someone they had heard of…which might be a good or bad thing. It’s true that everyone is famous or infamous in a small town. And since life is a slower pace, rude and kind memories last forever.
Although everyone there is “country” in one form or another, it took me a while to fully understand the uniqueness of my childhood. In my hometown, nearly everyone’s grandparents were farmers in their youth. The differences in mine, they were still farming.
It took me a while to realize, not everyone went to grandma’s house and fed chickens, cows, and turkeys. Got up hay and picked apples. Shelled peas and gathered up eggs. For a long time, I figured this was just a grandparent check-list. That it was something everyone “had”. Today, I’m still not sure why my grandparents kept farming, but I’m thankful they did. My memories there are an inseparable part of who I am.
Anyhow, the one experience of farm life I never tried: Tractor Driving. My grandpa had a 1970 Ford 3000 Tractor. It was old, it was expensive to repair. It wasn’t something, unlike a 4-wheeler, to be used for fun. I knew if I looked at the Tractor the wrong way and it broke, we were doomed (mostly because my grandpa could lament endlessly, something awful).
Although my uncle offered to let me drive it for this bucket list, the thought of “tearing it up” still drums up a childhood fear in me. It’s an antique!
So, my hubby and I opted to use my father-in-law’s Tractor, which is closer to an automatic. I didn’t do any farm work, but I did take them on a nice long ride around the yard. And I made myself proud. I know now, that if I ever needed or wanted to use a Tractor, it’s not something to fear.