The Day Things Went Wrong

Could be one of our little girls (1962-63) on our John Deere or Oliver tractor. Good thoughts.:

Having a thirty acre farm can be quite challenging at times. With horses, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, and a goat, organization is a must.

One chore I actually enjoy is grass/field cutting. However, being ‘just a girl,’ tractor maintenance has never been on the list of one of my many talents. Once I neglected to put gear oil in the gear box of my brush hog mower and, needless to say, it locked up and has never mowed again. Another time, a friend came to check on me. He noticed I had not added water or antifreeze to the radiator. Very bad. I managed to add these prior to ruining the engine of my tractor.

I did, however, learn to change the oil in the tractor. Anyone who knows me knows this is quite an accomplishment. I was proud of myself for this even if no one felt compelled to reinforce my outstanding talents in tractor maintenance – I guess something everyone else took for granted.

One day, after changing the oil, I began mowing grass. All of the sudden, the tractor just stopped. I knew I had gas because I had just filled the tank. As I looked around the tractor parts, I noticed the bolt holding the oil in its compartment was gone and all the oil drained from my tractor engine. I saw oil dripping on the tractor and in a line along the grass I had just mowed. I searched the grass everywhere the tractor had just passed over and never found that bolt.

My neighbors always knew how to help me when I was in a jam. They are veteran farmers and told me to contact a tractor supply company about 20 minutes from my farm. I did, they had the bolt, and I started to the store – me and my ‘everything always goes wrong for me’ bad attitude.

While waiting for the salesman to finish with his other customers, another farmer came into the store. He struck up conversation and asked what happened. When I shared my story, he apparently picked up on my grumpy attitude. In a wonderfully casual and direct way, he said, ‘You know, anytime you do anything, something is bound to go wrong- unless you just sit at home in a chair. But even then, you could fall off the chair. ‘

Immediately I was reformed. My bad attitude melted away as I realized I was not the only one challenging events happened to and just like everyone else, I could deal with things that did not go perfectly. I could fix things and get on with my chores. I thanked him for taking time to help me see my unfortunate events a little differently. I often think of that day, especially when things don’t go as easily as I had planned, and I remember the only way nothing is going to go wrong is if I sit at home in a chair- and I laugh as I think I could even fall off the chair.

The salesman sold me the bolt, I purchased oil, arrived back home, replaced the bold, put the oil in the tractor- luckily it started – and mowed the rest of my fields. Good day after all.

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