Mr. Massey before
There’s a mountain of work to do at Cathedral Drive Farm in Hope Ness these days: weed between the rows, hill the potatoes, spread straw mulch everywhere possible to hold the moisture in the soil and keep the clay-loam soil from baking to hard-pan in the sun, mow the hay, take the wild barn cat his morning dish of milk, prep the downstairs bedroom for painting . . . on and on it goes.
But I’ve got it down pat now: I take a few minutes in the morning after the indispensable two cups of coffee to write the daily to-do list; and then I proceed to ignore it as I just “keep on keeping on” with one thing at a time, or two or three, until the sun begins to set. And then I think it’s about time to see what’s going on in the world and the blogosphere.
But first, this day I went over to “The Shop” to see how Brent was getting on with the restoration of Mr. Massey, my world-famous, and one-of-a-kind, Massey-Harris 22 tractor.
As anyone with the most fundamental experience with wood stoves and rural living will know, if you’re just starting to cut your winter’s supply of wood in early to mid-October, you’ve got a big problem.
I imagine that’s just the sort of thing that spelled potential disaster for many a neophyte pioneer family many years ago. Nowadays there are all sorts of options and/or social safety nets for people who’ve foolishly, or for one reason or another, otherwise failed to get their winter fuel supply set aside well ahead of the onset of winter winds. But back in pioneer days, unless the unseasoned pioneer newcomers were fortunate enough to have a few more seasoned newcomers nearby and ready, willing and able to help, the family risked freezing to death.
A funny thing happened on the way back to the bush yesterday. Mr. Massey-Harris, the only submersible “22” model tractor still in good running order that I know of, suddenly stopped in his tracks and insisted he wasn’t going to go any further if I didn’t acknowledge that I was just about to become an elder and ceased being in negative denial about it.
Now, you may find it more than a little odd that I talk to my tractor. Some might say they’re not surprised; after all, that McNichol fella is a strange duck at the best of times. Continue reading