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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Farmlands Day 11: Mechanics

Did I mention that my father was a farmer? His land was a few miles from our house and he grew carrots, blueberries, cabbages and soy beans. Daddy had at least two tractors for tilling, weeding, planting and harvesting. He loved those machines, and was always tinkering with them. Once, when I was about six years old, he had both of the tractors working at once and was filling their with fuel. He must not have been paying attention, and tried to put the wrong fuel tank cover on an opening that was too big... and lost the cap in the full fuel tank of the wrong tractor. All of his efforts to extract the cap were fruitless. I don't know how long he and his foreman worked, but finally he drove home in his green pick up truck and called for me and my sister at the top of his lungs. We raced our bikes up the hill - we always came quickly when our father called, and his voice had urgency and annoyance in it. Daddy circled my upper arm with his huge hand, measuring the circumference of my bicep, and did the same with my sister. Mine was smaller, and he whisked me back to the farm. My job was to put my hand into the belly of that hot and oily tractor and grab onto the cap. I can still smell that tractor and feel the slimy fuel as it covered my arm. I can also feel that cap, and the warmth of the smile from my dad as I handed him the offending part.
Farmers need to be mechanics and fix their own machines. My Bernina decided to rebel from too much use today, and I had parts lined up on my table as I tried to coax it into perfect health.
Let's hope I don't have to force my considerably larger hand inside to remove a dropped pin or misplaced bobbin! Things are looking up this afternoon, and I believe that by this evening I will be half way done with the quilting process. Keep your fingers crossed for cooperative mechanics!

2 comments:

Connie Rose said...

Your quilt is gorgeous, Vivika, and I loved that story!

Laura Wasilowski said...

I love farm quilts too!

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