Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's Tough To Give Up Something You Love

It is tough to give up something you love. That's why it had to be tough for my father-in-law to give up farming and "retire" after 61 years on the tractor. He sold off all his equipment at auction today. I guess farmers don't get retirement parties. They have auctions. His turned into a kind of retirement party for him.

To think, he was worried no one would show up, but when I topped the bluff and looked down at the auction site, it was a sea of Carhartt and camouflage. There were buyers there from several states, as well as relatives, like Uncle Leonard and plenty of other friends and well-wishers, bidding farewell to an old farmer. Hard to imagine, but he began farming in Lake County, TN 12 years before I was even born. One person, whose land he had farmed for years, gave him a a plague with a heartfelt inscription.

Bridget hugged her dad as they watched so many memories hit the auction block, and then be driven away, some to nearby farms, others across the Mississippi to other states.

Bridget posed on her 1974 Honda Trail 90 one more time. It actually turned into quite the collectors item, fetching more than double what it cost new, 34 years ago.

After that, a quick trip to one of our favorite places to eat, Boyette's, with Bridget's Mom. Catfish, green beans, white beans, hushpuppies, slaw and fries. Mmmmh!

Then a slow drive around one of the most beautiful places on Earth, Reelfoot Lake, and maybe look for a Bald Eagle or two.

Tractors, combines, plows, log chains, trucks, welders, cattle feeders, and lot's of memories. It's all he's done, all his life. At the end of the day, though, I still believe, he'll have the itch this spring.


Michael Inman said...

Whoa. That's a lot of tractors. All his? I'm wanting a little Ford 8N and I can't believe how much those things are going for.

Farm auctions always make me somewhat melancholy, probably because of that dang Mellenhead song, "Rain on the Scarecrow".

hulagirlatheart said...

I've witnessed a farm auction or two and they always make me sad. Farmers are a dying breed.

Now, Boyette's? That makes me happy. I was there back in November. Yum.