Nothing says farmer better than a big green John Deere tractor and you never forget your first! We spent countless hours discussing what type of tractor we needed for Iron Side Ranch and what was/is important in one and looking online at ones for sale all over the country. There are more types and variations of tractors than I thought possible and even now am amazed at what all they can do. After many phone calls between his dad and Granddad, we finally decided a 4-wheel drive tractor, manual transmission and one with a front loading bucket are the way to go. I’m ashamed to admit that there are many more features that are important and need to be thoroughly reviewed before purchasing but they escape me now that it’s time to put pen to paper.
~ our tractor cost more than my car and our tractor is twice as old
~ when I can’t find Mackay inside our home but I know he’s here somewhere, he’s outside on it
~ it really is sexy (although maybe it’s the man driving it that makes it so)
~ it is Very powerful and is better than a wheelbarrow
~ I don’t get a turn driving it very often
I actually found it on facebook marketplace for sale just down the street from us and we jumped for joy - literally. We could max out our tractor budget because we didn’t have to pay for shipping and it was everything that we thought we needed. We drove on down to the house and took it for a test drive and Mackay was in love. At that moment, I felt like I should have knelt down on one knee and asked him to marry me and handed him the keys to the tractor as his engagement ring! (Side note: We were already planning our wedding at the time but chose not to get an engagement ring for me yet because of our ranching demands and were married in Dec 2018.) And because it was so close to our home, Mackay was able to drive it home and the kids and I followed behind with our blinkers on warning other vehicles of our slow passage. Each mile passed became symbolic of a new mile marker about to be in our ranching experiences!
That was also my first lesson in tractor driving etiquette. Whenever a vehicle would come up behind us, Mackay would move the tractor over and wave it on around us when it was safe to do so. I was really impressed that he was considerate of the other drivers to the point of giving himself a neck ache because he had to keep turning around to look. The kids and I rolled our windows down and turned the A/C on full blast because it was a scorching day. We put our hands out the windows and pretended to fly as we drove about 10 miles an hour down back country roads. And we did this for almost 45 minutes!
We finally arrive home and the kids tumble out of the car and race over to see this enchanted new thing that has finally arrived. Stern safety talks would be done later but at this moment, everyone basked in the glow of being tractor owners and it was time to explore every button, hidden compartment, knob to turn and lever to switch. It would have been apparent to any observer that we had given up t.v awhile ago because this tractor was very entertaining to us. The kids ran around it playing tag while Mackay sat learning what did what and I sat back and soaked it in. Not only is a tractor important for a working farm but it also symbolizes a step towards freedom. Freedom one day of being completely debt-free. The freedom of eating livestock that we’ve raised without hormones or antibiotics. Freedom to learn how to shoot our firearms safely and effectively because of the range this tractor is building. Freedom to escape the pressures of work and it gives us the freedom to dream. To me, this green John Deere tractor symbolizes a happy family unit loving life exactly where we are, in this moment, drinking in the smell of the freshly moved dirt. The smell of Mackay as he’s walking over to me to kiss me after slaving away in the hot sun on his tractor and feeling his sweaty kiss mixed with dust and grass. Eventually, I know we will add to our tractor collection but this one is special - this is the one that gives me permission to dream of what’s now and what’s to come. It’s our first together…
I'm a wife, mom of 3 wonderful children, homeschool teacher and loving ranching. After Mackay and I married, we've been steadily pursing our goals of having a self sufficient life and teaching others along the way.