There's this little place on the on the way in from town. Someone bought it a couple of years ago, and they're trying to transform it from a few brush covered acres in the corner of a farm into a nice garden plot. We saw a couple working to create garden spot last year, although the scale of the garden considerably exceeded the vegetables actually growing in it by the time the summer was out. I can imagine they intend to build a house on the other side of the garden someday, but so far that hasn't happened. As I was driving into town about a week ago, a tractor caught my eye as it sat between the garden plot and the county's gravel road. As I drew nearer, I realized that a first pass of tilling had been made around half the perimeter of the little place; as I passed by the tractor I realized it was stationary, the tiller behind it raised in the air, with no one nearby.
I know all about stationary tractors. When I was a teenager, my dad was working off the farm, leaving most of the day-to-day farm work to me. During those years our primary farm tractor taught me a considerable amount about internal combustion engines and all the things that can go wrong with them in the middle of a hay field a long way from the house. I became talented at tasks such as servicing the balky carburetor with the few tools that fit in the tractor's little box. Sometimes, though, I need a tool I didn't have or, worse yet, a part that had to be ordered, so the tractor would sit where it stopped in the field, stuck until I could get it going again.
I figured the tractor stuck mid-tilling on the way into town would move again soon, but when I went by this morning it was still there. It sat there through sunshine and rain for a week. I assume it's going to move again, eventually. Maybe it will finish tilling the area around last year's garden patch. I don't know how long that's going to take; I guess as long as it takes to get the tools or the parts or the expertise to fix whatever's broken.
Until it's working again, every day the tractor will be sitting there, reminding me of things that get stuck.