Chester Chatter: Left on a right-sided farm

By Ruthie Douglas
©2022 Telegraph Publishing LLC

As a housewife and a farm hand, I was getting pretty darn tired of this new job. One day Don told me he was going to show me how to drive a tractor.

He offered me a Ford tractor, which he called “the easiest one on the farm to learn.” After a short lesson, he reminded me that if I wanted to stop quickly I needed to press in the clutch. Don went to open the gate and I started driving the tractor down the slope … faster and faster and faster, til I remembered to step on the clutch. But that didn’t stop the tractor as I headed down toward the fence.

Don started to yell, “Step on the brake.” It was a suggestion I gladly would have taken, if he had told me where that brake was located. The fence, needless to say, suffered a bit of damage.

Within a couple of weeks, I was in control of that darn tractor. And “my boss” asked me to tedder the hay while he finished milking. I tackled that important assignment, driving around and around that 5-acre field. What a beautiful job I was doing and I was certain that Don would be in awe.

Of course, that circle I created left me and my little Ford tractor stuck in the middle of my job, surrounded by beautifully teddered hay.

But that wasn’t what made Don unhappy. Our baler was made to pick up hay on the right-hand side but my left-handed ways meant that the field was teddered for left-handed equipment.

That evening, my housewife role kicked in as I made Don a large bowl of popcorn and a pitcher of lemonade. These helped to put this lefty back on the right side of my farmer husband once again.

Scene and heard

This past Saturday, a large crowd of people participated in a corn hole tournament at the American Legion. The legion is planning to have another tournament on March 5.

How beautiful is our town even in the dead of winter? And some people are even getting ready for Valentine’s Day.

I want to thank everyone for the wonderful good wishes as I am recovering from surgery. They all warmed my heart. Thank you!




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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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