Monday, October 10, 2016

Go Ahead...Made My Day!

October 10, 2016 He showed up as I was in the middle of resetting the stone walkway that got torn up when we put the new water line in. The kids all have the day off for Columbus Day, politically incorrect I know, but thankfully still honored in these parts, so it wasn't surprising that a few of them might turn up. His sister and mother were having a mommy/daughter day, and his dad was out in the shop, working on his knives. I guess an eight year old boy can only play video games for just so long before he gets bored and starts seeking something a bit more adventurous. I decided to give it to him. He was in the house snacking on grapes with Linda when I leaned in and asked if there were anyone here who wants to learn how to use a bucket loader. I think he beat me out the door. The old 8N is old school. No fancy safety features except the brakes which on ours are marginal at best. I wouldn't trust them to keep me from going over an embankment. My little John Deere however, is only a couple years old, and has all the doodads that Uncle Sam now requires on even lawn equipment, one of which is a seat switch. This creates a problem because Nathan isn't heavy enough to activate it. As soon as he put it in gear, it shut off, which meant I had to push the seat all the way back so he could sit in front of me to steer and operate the pedals. Driving down to our gravel pit, we loaded up. I could dig in, but my little rig isn't powerful enough to fill the bucket without burying itself in the gravel as the tires churned. Nathan didn't miss a beat; jumping down, he grabbed the shovel and started filling the bucket. I showed him how to raise and lower it, and finished shoveling the gravel in before handing him to wheel and heading back to the project. Fortunately, the seat switch doesn't operate when the transmission is in neutral, so after guiding him into position, I was able to get down and let him dump the gravel all by himself. The grin on his face was worth every minute we spent together. To be able to introduce him to the world of machines and work is a privilege for which we both are deeply grateful. I hope I made his day. I know he made mine.

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