It is a tiny tractor, on the scale of things, but big enough to make our grandsons think we own the world. Here is the thing: I did not know we needed a tractor. In all of our forty-five years together, I don’t remember my handsome husband ever saying, “Man, I wish I had a tractor. One with a scoop on the front and a blade of the back. And a mower for the boring stuff.”
Yet, when the tractor arrived in our new-to-us driveway, Wendell smiled as if Father Christmas had paid a visit. (Father Christmas, they say, does not ask for green in exchange for the Green. Ah, well.) The joke is that I am getting a new kitchen at this house, and I deserve that way less than he deserves a tractor. If deserving were the issue. Which, it isn’t. My lack of interest in cooking is an established fact. That is why half of the new kitchen is a writing space.
The farmer thing, though, has never been obvious. Wendell grew up on a farm. He drove a tractor from a young age. (And nearly died from a bad experiment with gasoline one time, but that is another story.) Yet, once he left the farm and pursued medicine, I don’t remember him ever mentioning that he missed the green acres.
Maybe he didn’t even know.
When we took possession of this spot with a house that needed a bit of updating, hints began appearing. We bought a post-hole digger first. I suggested we could probably borrow something to use for planting a mailbox post. He gave me The Look. “We own an acreage,” he said. “We will need to dig holes.”
And so it went, until eventually, we owned a tractor. You may wonder why I bring it up, and this is what I’ll tell you: I don’t mind a bit about the tractor. He looks exceptionally handsome on it. The point is that I didn’t know. After all these years, all our shared experiences, all our long talks, and decades of daydreaming – I learned something new about this man I love.
And there, Dear Reader, is one of the best parts of a long marriage. It never gets boring. We always have more to learn. We grow. We change. We discover. And, evidently, we buy a tractor. (He also mentioned recently that his grandmother taught him how to knit! Maybe we will buy sheep and spin our own yarn!)
What a life!