My faithful readers (and students and clients) know that I’ve been girl-without-tractor for far too long now. Ever since the disturbing ka-clunk that led to our abandoning the last half of the last mow last fall…that led to the visit from our local-farmer-the-tractor-repair-wizard who took the tractor apart to take a look…which led to a smile and a shrug and a promise to return.

When I got a tractor named Long, I had no idea that the name referred to the time it would take to repair it…or the time it would take for whoever tried to repair it to return a phone call.  Finally, a month ago, our local-farmer-the-tractor-repair-wizard actually returned a phone call.  I can only think that he must have repaired all the other tractors in Connecticut, the Berkshires and beyond.

Not only did he return the phone call, he actually came over to pick up where he left off last fall.  He was here for an hour and then recommended that we take the Long to the tractor repair center in the next town over.  Why he couldn’t have said this last fall is beyond me, but that’s the way it is in the country, and why occasionally (very occasionally) I wish I were back in Manhattan.  Or as the farmer in overalls at the Goshenette says, “MAN-hattin!”

This is where we were heading, except for the fact that my retired Thoroughbred would not have been amused

The good news is that, unlike the tractor repair center that used to be in town, which seemed to enjoy preying on the hobby farmer, the one that fixed the Long is a professional operation (the itemized bill is actually itemized and there are over a dozen guys working there).  I wish they repaired cars.

When they agreed to pick up the Long, they said they wouldn’t be able to get to it for two weeks  (I guess all the tractors that our local-farmer-the-tractor-repair-wizard didn’t get to ended up there before ours did) but they got to it before then.  When the parts were late coming in, they offered to deliver the tractor so we could use it and pick it up again when the parts came in.  If we didn’t want to hear ka-clunk while using it, they said they could weld something together for us and then replace it later.  How’s that for service?

They were so much more reassuring than our local-farmer-the-tractor-repair-wizard who comforted us by telling us that we could just drive the tractor until it died and then try to sell it to someone else during the winter.  I’m still not sure if he was joking.

It’s no joke, for sure, how far behind we are on mowing this year.  The grass has all gone to seed.  The four-legged lawnmowers just can’t keep up.  Plus, there’s compost to move and logs that will become firewood.  My Yankee-Irish horsewhispering boyfriend still wants new potatoes, but I just don’t know if the vegetable garden is going to get off (in?) the ground this year, what with his rotator cuff surgery…

I’d like to put traprock on the drive to the barns and we’re bringing in sand and stone dust for the new outdoor manege.  I call it a manege not to sound pretentious, but because it’s exactly the size of the manege at the Quinto where I rode in Portugal.  When I questioned the somewhat petite size, the owner/trainer said, “Why would I want it any larger?  The short end is for collecting.”

Gotta go mow.

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