Last week I was mainly driving tractors, diggers and trailers……love it!

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On the farm last week, the father and son builder team of John and Duncan, creating a huge 90ft barn in a far field, were a gift. Over coffee and cake breaks we perched on stacked timber and forged a friendship with much banter and laughter.

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One evening I looked across at the tractors dotted about and asked who owned them. Duncan said he did as he watched my face light up. For years, and I mean years, I have yearned to be back on a tractor. This is linked to heart memories from my days as a teenager in Africa, way before the days of health and safety, where we really pushed boundaries and had real adventures. Anyway I digress, I whispered to him (it was that important to me), could he take me out on a tractor….pretty please? We arranged it and end of play one early evening I stood welly booted and expectant in the field. Duncan went one better and handed me the keys with the words, ‘I think you can handle this yourself Jane’. He gave me instructions, perched in the cab with me and off we went. The sprung seat bounced and I drove around that field with a massive grin on my face. He had given me the gift of a dream.

A few days later John was unable to come to work on the barn, so I offered to help Duncan and he gave me instructions on how to drive the digger, with it’s many levers! The plan was to put Duncan in the digger bucket with a 16ft wooden beam and I would manoervre him through the steel shell and lift him up to various points to place, drill and then bolt each beam into place.

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The faith and trust he placed in me was immense as I have never driven one of these things and my fear level was high as I applied every atom of concentration to my task. Backwards and forwards we went and we managed to finish a whole section.

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My heart was in my mouth, but gradually I got the hang of it and the banter flowed through facial expressions. We had been using a system of hand signals above the racket of the engine and after a while I knew when to lower this trusting soul to bring him out for the next beam. I had a little fun with him in there. I would catch the flash of a smile as the last fixings went into a beam and I would grin at him from the cab and raise him an inch (steel beams above his head). His expression was priceless and I continued to grin and bring him slowly down again. He didn’t need to hand signal, his facial expression was eloquence enough in itself. He gave me another precious gift that day as my confidence came flooding back. I struggle when I think how long ago I lost it as I have been running on auto-pilot, with regular mental reminders of ‘I can do this’, for months now. His faith in me was uplifting and I must have slowed him down that day, but he gave no hint of it, just gentle encouragement and laughter.

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I left with love and much gratitude to head on up to Cheshire. John was back in the bucket, with Duncan driving the digger, and he looked down and said ‘Will you miss the place Jane?’, I replied ‘I’ll miss you two John, and the animals, I am so grateful for your friendship this week. It has been a special gift’. This roughty, toughty compact man in his special cap looked down and his eyes twinkled. Duncan and I hugged without words.

I am back at Mum and Dad’s and their moving plans are gathering pace. I awoke on my first morning to my Dad, with a familiar look on his face, saying ‘You’ve got a tow bar on your car haven’t you Nane?’, (that’s my old family name). That morning we shifted a huge heap of ordered debris (it’s my Dad after all), that used to be the old roof of Dad’s back workshop. ‘Thirty years ago I hand laminated that with a two inch brush’, said Dad. ”Really?’ I said as I struggled to split the external panels. Now for those of you in the know my Dad does nothing by halves and this is a trailer with a capital ‘T’ and I have never driven while pulling one before. After several trips we finished the job without incident, having befriended a kind young man at the tip who made the whole thing seamless at their end, and was very appreciative of the homemade cake from my Mum.

I think I have found my calling….all I need now is a hard hat.

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27 Responses to “Last week I was mainly driving tractors, diggers and trailers……love it!”


  1. 1 elenacaravela July 23, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    YOu go! Absolutely fearless! I’m in awe.

    Like

    • 2 Jane Thorne July 23, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      It was such fun….I am now looking for work where I can be outside driving tractors and looking after animals…I think I have found my calling Elena… ❀

      Like

  2. 3 Jean July 23, 2014 at 1:01 am

    Wow, good for you Jane. Stay safe but enjoy doing it well. πŸ™‚

    Like

  3. 5 Marylin Warner July 22, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Jane, you are amazing. I love that you’re a “cliff jumper” who doesn’t always have her ducks in a row. (What a great description!–you could put that on an inspirational Hallmark card!)
    If I had a job that had to be done, you’d be my first call!

    Like

  4. 7 ianscyberspace July 8, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Long, long ago I had an army licence for semi-trailers and all that stuff the army likes to drive around. I don’t think I could manage it now as 60 years have passed me by since that experience. lol

    Like

    • 8 Jane Thorne July 8, 2014 at 6:59 am

      Oh Ian, where does the time fly too? It’s forty years since I was on a tractor and goodness how they have changed…it was such fun. This one had air con and a CD/radio…I mean really, all mod cons. It never ceases to amaze me how life presents opportunities like this and time then melts and you’re young again. πŸ™‚

      Like

  5. 9 tornadoday July 7, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I love it! Jane, I could imagine how exciting your day was. I love tractors, although I admit that I don’t care at all for forklifts. Maybe it has to do with accidentally dumping a pallet of eggs off a dock the first day I tried. But tractors……….that’s another thing altogether! πŸ™‚ I also love tillers. What a wonderful place, Jane. ❀ Always just….

    Like

    • 10 Jane Thorne July 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      Dearest Bobbie, you would have loved it there…what fun we would have had. We could have had a tractor each. I have not used a tiller yet, but I’m betting that’s fun too. All the adventures we still have before us….whoop de do. ❀ for you always… xXx

      Like

  6. 13 smzang July 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Jane,

    This article gives its own gifts! Many years ago (about 60) my father had
    an International Harvester Farmall (later to become Case I.H.)tractor. At that time they were red. It was a small one with iron wheels and he used
    it just for the garden (John Deere for the fields). It had a metal seat with
    no padding and it was a rough ride, but I was in seventh heaven when I
    was allowed to operate it.

    You have recalled those childhood days for me. Thank you!!

    I so very much enjoyed your article and pictures.

    Sarah

    Like

    • 14 Jane Thorne July 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Hello Sarah, thank you so much for sharing your memories, they are so very preciosu aren’t they. Those girls that we remember are still there inside of us Sarah aren’t they? Big hug for you and thanks so much for taking the time to read and get in touch. ❀ xX

      Like

  7. 15 1smiles July 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Jane,
    You are a multi-talented girl! Very proud of you for your stamina And happy that you got to relive a moment of your past. Those are so precious.
    Much love and many, many hugs,
    Jeannie xxxxxxx

    Like

    • 16 Jane Thorne July 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      Thank you Jeannie, you are so lovingly supportive. Each adventure has gifts and we have super strong capes! Many hugs flowing right back to you. ❀ xXx

      Like

  8. 17 grandfathersky July 7, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    From apprentice to Journeywoman in less than a month … bravo! Remember when backing a trailer it will go in the direction that you are moving the bottom of the steering wheel …

    Like

  9. 20 Eric Alagan July 7, 2014 at 11:55 am

    You certainly found your calling, Jane buddy πŸ™‚

    Hard hat, safety boots and a good jug of ale – ought to complete the get-up πŸ™‚

    Like

  10. 22 journeyintopoetry July 7, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Thank you and big hugs back! ❀️

    Like

  11. 24 Al July 7, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Is it not amazing what life serves up when we are least expecting it? I will certainly call on you the next time there is a “barn raisin'” in these here parts.

    Like

    • 25 Jane Thorne July 7, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Hello delightful Al, I had such fun….I still grin when I think about it. Mum and I were sorting through old books this morning, prior to their move. She handed me one on old fashioned crafts like thatching a roof. ‘There you go’, she said, ‘it’s perfect for you with what you’ve been upto lately…’ !!!! πŸ™‚

      Like

  12. 26 journeyintopoetry July 7, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Jane your posts just get lovelier each time. And you often mention the warm hearted people you meet; well they bond with you because of your super warm heart. You spread love wherever you go! Love to you my lovely friend. We are off to Center Parcs for a few days with all the famil; it will be chaos but I will find pockets of peace – I hope! 😊❀️ xxx

    Like

    • 27 Jane Thorne July 7, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Good morning Chris and thank you for your lovely comment, as always. Have a fab. time at Center Parcs and your ‘pockets of peace’ line made me smile. Much ❀ to you and yours…have fun, big hugs. xXx ❀

      Like


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