Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rediscovering The Creek

When I was little I remember seeing how the men in my family spent their time and I can clearly recall wondering “what is wrong with these people?”. I would be neck-deep in some kind of swamp hole in the creek with my cousin Seth, throwing rocks at each other all day long, thinking “This is the greatest day that ever was”. I'd trudge back up to the house at dusk smelling like swamp water and goat only to find that Dad and Buster spent their Saturday riding around on a tractor, building something out of wood or steel, or otherwise "working". Granddad spent his weekends tinkering with various forms of meat smoker, or spent the afternoon making a mess somewhere in the house for Grandma to clean up. At the time, it sounded to me like a waste of a great creek day.

Now, I think I get it.

I spent all weekend with my buddy Austin generally flailing around in the woods on a tractor.  I cut through all manner of detritus with an enormous 65 horsepower spinning blade that makes a soothing, thrumming song like "I killyouuikillyouikillyouifyoufalloff", saw 5 deer, 20 turkeys, 3 snakes and all sorts of other flora and fauna. At some point I managed to shear two hitch pins in the 3-point hitch, bust the tailwheel clean off the bushhog, and get the tractor stuck. That was a low point….except that Austin and I were so prepared we already had all the tools and parts to fix it.  Hah!  I am a MAN! Take that Murphy!

Tyler covered herself in glory by showing up to the stuck tractor in Austin’s pickup truck with a chain and 10 gallons of diesel fuel. She proceeded to calmly hook the tractor up to the truck, put it in low range 4-wheel-drive and coolly snatch the tractor out of the ditch before toodling back down the road with a honk and a wave.

At dusk I returned to the cabin pleasantly soiled, terribly smelly, and warmed with the sense that I’d accomplished something monumental.

When I advanced in Tyler’s direction for a customary welcome-home pat on the head, she wrinkled her nose and poked a finger into my chest; using it as a fulcrum to shift my orbit in the direction of the bathroom.

What in the world have you been doing all day? She chirped, not impressed at my cuts and bruises and general level of grease.

Tractorin'. What have you been doing all day?

Making teeeeeee shirts seeeee!!! She trilled, holding aloft a women’s tee with block print on it and some other girl crafty stuff.

Ah gotcha.

Harrumph. You’re all dirty and you smell like the bottom of a can of worms mixed with Vaseline and bridge person and sewer. Can’t you pay somebody to do the tractorin’?

Yes, I could.

I don’t understand.

I can't explain. It's like playing in the creek.

You are so weird.

No comments: