Tuesday, August 16, 2011
If you want to get somewhere in a hurry, you go by interstate, If you want to see the countryside, you go the back roads, If you really want to see the wild flowers on the road side, go by tractor.
I along with 100+ tractors went on a 2 day 100 mile ride. The oldest tractor was a 1937 John Deere, completely restored as were most of them. Newest was about a 1980. I would hate to guess at the drivers age but some had to be pushing 90+.
This is my 2nd. year of the 5th. annual 2 day ride. We live in N. ll. and 3 came from Canada, many from Iowa and Wisconsin. You sure get to meet some nice and interesting people committed to keeping the antique tractors alive and still running.
I drove my 1971 I-H 656, I have a 1941 I -H M but the tires aren't the best and the seat would definitely be a killer on my back.
Had 10+ lady drivers. Not all were farmers or ex but had some connection with "dirt" in their lifetime and can't get it out of their blood. It takes alot of organization to make all the connection of back roads so as not to cause an accident with all the fast paced people of our day.
Just thought some of you would be interested on what an "old farmer" does for entertainment in August.
Added one picture of my tractor when loaded for the ride to my Spark pictures.
Life sure is GREAT!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
53 years and counting, how much longer is she going to put up with this ole farmer, many more I hope. Some things you think are just too good to last, I sure hope this is not one of them. Like I told her 30 years ago, I think you can list me as the benefactor on your life insurance policy now I think it's going to work. Still live in the same house we moved into when we got home from our honeymoon to Texas, have not made too many changes, she's been a cheap keeper, maybe that's why it's lasted. Raised 4 boys, they've made us proud, given us 10 healthy grandkids and as of Feb. 3 our first great grand child. Both in good health except for a few little aches and pains that one could expect at this age. What are we doing special for our BIG day? Taking her out to breakfast after both of us going to the Chirpractor, then more shopping for her a dress for our GD's wedding in June, I think that will take the rest of the day. Just took her to her favorite deli yesterday for Valentines Day topped of with a Culvers chocolate cone. Now that's livin! It's sure been handy all these years having both days so close, tried to get her to slid her birthday up 3 months too so as to better remember with absolutely no luck. She's a real keeper but something she just won't compromise on.
Love you my Sweet G ood L ookin B etter H alf! GLBH. Thanks for sharing my life!
Friday, February 04, 2011
Now maybe we can forget about the storm of 1979!
With the so-called" blizzard" coming Mon. PM went to a funeral in the AM where the GLBH was playing the organ. Came home anticipating doing some driveway snow plowing before it really sat in. Our electricity kept going off and on, this happened for about an hour then finally was off for good. Made a management decision, after feeling the cold in the house, to vacate to S # 2 two miles away, they had juice. Got my 4-wheel drive pickumup out of the machine shed after falling many times trying to wade through the 3'+ drifts. Came to house to let truck warm up and let GLBH know she could come out. She showed her displeasure in not taking the car. My response "ROSELLA, this is 4 wheel drive truck weather", her response, O K LYLE! She soon found out why as she sank up to her pretty butt in a snow bank and fell over. With my help she got out of the BIG drift and and made it to the truck. It took both of us to try to keep the truck on the road while bucking through snow drifts and the blinding snow. There was no room in the machine shed plus with the wind so strong would have never been able to get door open. Parked the truck in a protected area out of drifts. Took our little "drug" bag, can't go anywhere without it, and went to the safety of our loving family we hope.
Soon was dinner and after just relaxing and giving thanks for heat and electricity with the howling wind and blowing snow outside, sure hoping everyone was just staying put and not on the road. Phone rang, a pickup truck with a snow blade was stuck on the road just 800 ' from Son's house, couple of neighbor? men, everyone is your neighbor in a snowstorm, trying to come home from work in Dixon Il., as it was they had to work later that night replacing a bearing on a shaft so the next shift could start on time. Turns out that put them about 1 hour later and no daylight. I have a nylon rope and works better than a chain for pulling. Started out of yard and as soon as I got on road got stuck in a big 4' drift. 1st. clue was when I had a hard time pushing my door open to get out to shovel in front of truck, S soon realized was blowing back in as fast as we shoveled it out so decided to shovel behind where there was a bare spot. It worked, the stuck neighbor came over and I informed them they were not going anywhere that night and would stay with 3# 2 and family. Neighbor got in my truck as we tried to get off the road and back in S's yard, made it in but got stuck again and decided would leave it there and walked to the house.
Spent rest of night getting acquainted with neighbors and eating. Did all the right things, called their family's, County police, and Highway Dept. informing of exact location off the road, that's why they were stuck, and safe inside at S's house for the night. S and DIL kept busy find sleeping arrangements and blankets for the now doubling of the size of their family. I slept in S's big LazyBoy chair and GLBH on the couch, two new friends in a upstairs spare bed. Bill started out trying to sleep in a chair up there but couldn't fall asleep so decided his buddy Jeff didn't look too bad after all so crawled in bed with him.
They slept late but the GK's woke up early, were still excited about having G and G their all night. They wanted to watch the Pickers and Pawn shop I think it's called? They are 10 and 7 and hooked on it. Do I see antiques in their future?
Ate oatmeal and much coffee for breakfast and made phone calls to see it County and or Township road crews were out our how soon they could clear a path. Township shed is right across road from S and told us he wasn't going out with the grader! It wasn't 5 minutes we saw him pulling the grader out of the shed. Because he had refused to help pull out the truck, 100' away one new found neighbor called his Dad and he brought his 4-wheel loader tractor and pulled the truck out and made a path for Bill to go home about 3 miles. Came back and picked up his S Jeff to take him home. I want to say there were at least 4 REAL thankful people for the hospitality!
After early lunch S an I spent the next hour trying to get my pickup freed from all the snow around it, I was real thankful it even started with all the snow blowing through the front grill.
County made one pass on road so at least one path with a truck could make it. spent rest of day pushing snow, plowing out driveways where I could and nephew , after we dug out the tractor with snow blower, blew out the spots I couldn't do.
There are many HERO'S and GOOD Samaritan's from a storm like this
A Casey employ, trying to get home got stranded 1 mile from us, at least 3 or 4 other neighbors tried to get her before only getting stuck themself when one made it back home some 4 miles and came with his snowmobile and rescued her.
Another single mother of 3 girls answered a knock at her door at 3 AM. Found a Direct T V repairman who made it to her house. He was from Polo Il. and had been sent to Aurora Ill. to work that day. Spent the rest of the night on the couch. I think she should get FREE Direct T V for life.
It does one's heart feel good to know that neighbors " are important"!
Thanks go out to Jeff and Khristy, Matt, and Kathy, and many more, they showed what the Good Samaritan was talking about!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
These are some words of advice you should never forget! This tiny GL chick first caught my eye when her one room school was closed and was moved to town. Mine closed two years earlier. Both had lived South of town but paths never crossed. We attended different churches. I did all kinds of actions that a young kid would try to get her attention those early years but nothing seemed to work. But finally in our Jr.year in HS during play practice that she started to think, so, maybe he's not so bad after all. Can't remember our first date but do remember going to the prom. Hope the picture came in? We were in charge of doing all the decorations for the Big Dance in honor of the Sr. class. We both were doers and helped many nights. This picture is in front of her Dads garage dressed for the Prom. My older brother loaned me his new 1955 Bel Air Chevy. instead of my 1947 four door Fleetline Chevy. As I recall Prom date went well with us sitting at garden tables drinking many cups of punch not knowing what to say. That was before I learned to talk!
Our love slowly grew through our Sr. year when our thoughts of what we wanted to do after graduation. I was determined to be a farmer, GLBH wasn't interested in college so sought a secretary job. During our Sr. year she was determined, since she was to be the Valedictorian of our class, to raise my grade point up from the usual C to get me on the Honor Roll, meaning all A's or B's. I relished this tutoring every night at her house. After chores and eating at home would beat a path to her house the 3 miles to study. She worked so hard and the last semester of school year thought she had succeeded . We always had a tradition at our school that the Sr. didn't have to take finals test. Well we had a new Agri. teacher that year and he was not for tradition. He insisted we were going to have one and I balked and tried to "buck" the new guy. Guess who lost? I got a F for not participating. No honor roll for Skeeter. I sure showed him? As you can guess it wasn't the last time I bucked the system.
My music-speech teacher who I credit for bringing me out of my very shy shell, there are many who still haven't forgiven her. She was known for breaking many a mirror in her day but I never noticed this about her, she had such inner beauty and knack for bringing out the talent from the most unlikely people. Our vocal dept. was always winning 1st. in State along with the Madrigal singers even thought our school was one of the smallest in the state. She was GOOD! After graduation she wanted me to take a sales- delivering job working for her Dad and Husband. Her Dad owned the local Chevy. dealership in town and were expanding their business to include a new process of recapping tires. I had to turn her-them down. Sorry I said but my dream has always been to be a farmer.
With no farm in site went to work for Del Monty and local farmer.
Learned valuable lesson's in life as a "hired man". Many salesman would come to the farm and asking for the boss, wouldn't give the time of day, just a lowlife couldn't even remember my name. I got satisfaction from one of them the next year when I had rented a farm and he was all friendly and wanting to sell me fuel for my farm. He finally knew my name. I politely said no!
Getting ahead of my story.
In spring of 1957 decided to ask her to marry. Didn't ask Dad for her hand because I was afraid of the answer he would give. We dealt with that later.
I bought her the best diamond ring I could fine for $100.00 in a wholesale catalog from Chicago.
Now how to pop the question. Parked my 47 Chevy in front of that garage in the picture, got her in the car and asked her to get something out of the glove box, there was the opened box with nothing else in there. Now wasn't that neat!
We set the date for the same Nov. 14 th. date that my Great sister Ann403 was married. But good fortune just kept following us around.
My FIL knew of a neighboring farm that might come up for rent. In those days Del Monty rented farms from older landlords for 3 years, two years peas and the last year sweetcorn, then gave it up. Found out a local Farm Manager- Insurance salesman would be renting it out. He was Mr. Swanson, he had come to town in 1948 to teach Agri. at our school. Did that for one year but one day at a teachers meeting he looked around, saw mostly old women and decided what the hell am I doing here?
My only contact with him had been when he subbed taught Agri. class, guess he thought I wasn't too bad and egg, because he rented me the farm! It just seemed too good to be true. He told me most farmers in the area were getting older and we need young ones to get started. Both my D and FIL farmed so I know that also helped. He would write up a lease and have me sign it. 2-3 weeks went by and we kept hearing rumors that this guy had it rented then that guy claimed he had, I got nervous and went to see him again, he explained that he had over 40 farmers wanting that farm but his word was good , I told you you had it, and would get the lease to me soon. His handshake is still good to this day. I still have that same lease, it is time tested. I have told Mr. Swanson many times he is responsible for where I am today. He made my dream come true and much more. I will write more about him at another time. He recently let me read his memoirs, so interesting.
We made major decisions on our marriage plans. Instead of marrying in Nov. rent an apartment for 3 months then move in our own rented farm house in march 1st. just postponed the wedding until Feb. 16th. 1958. One of the very few times a wedding has been moved back instead of forward. Yes that happened in those days too.
Winter went fast, GLBH was working at USF@G insurance job and I at neighbor gas station. After Jan. worked at our soon to be new home along with our parents, they did most of the work, taking off wallpaper, sanding floors and painting, getting ready for the wedding. All I did for the wedding was stay out of my soon to be MIL's way.
Wedding went off great as I recall, perfect Feb. day. Very cold, set a record over night. FIL delighted in telling anyone that " it will be a COLD day in hell before he ever gives his only Daughter away", and he meant it. We soon formed a great bond, took just a little longer for the MIL
I remember the receiving line, only the old ladies kissing me and everyone kissing my precious new bride.
One of our neighbors known as " Little Bill" Heibenthal came through the line. He was 10 years older than I and farming with a young family. We worked back and forth with him, very colorful, outspoken, hit the bottle a little and probably the last person I would have expected to hear these words, "Be Good To Her Skeeter"! Of all the advice I have had all through these years, most not remembered, these have stuck. They will never be forgotten! I have seen "Little Bill" as recently as this past summer at our All Class reunion and delight in telling him this story. He claims he doesn't remember saying it but is getting pretty old.
My GLBH plays the organ and has played at many weddings, I always go and most of the time I give the same advice to the groom, a few I don't waist the time, figure it won't help!
I am writing this to honor a great soulmate these past 52 years, the Love of my life, I love her more today than the day I received this good advice.
Now maybe I wont have to buy her a gift.
Have I always followed this advice? I think the GLBH will have to answer that.
How does wedded bliss work? We made a pack early in our marriage, she makes all the small decisions that happen every day and she let's me make the big ones like just when we should bomb China!
Be good to those you hold dearly and they will Love you forever.
Friday, February 12, 2010
For those of you still looking for the love of your life, keep searching, they do exist, their out there, and for those of you who have found your love for life, don't take them for granted, show them your love for her-him is real and genuine. Read I Corinthians 13: 4-13, that says it all.
Happy Valentines Day to my GLBH, love you still!
That's your sermon for the day kid's!
Just, The Skeeter
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