The idea is a work in progress. Our marriage is a little young yet for that quote.
But I'm thinking about this as I work in my office upstairs on this cold but sunny March afternoon because I hear a deep rumble in the backyard. Not the kind of muffler-free rumble one has to shout over, close windows against, covers ears because of, but the gentle rumble of a diesel engine learning new territory, and making one man very, very happy.
A week ago, after he'd paid the money and signed the deal, after he'd brought home the spare key and instruction books, my husband sat at the end of the bed and said to me, "Twenty years ago, I thought that for my retirement, I'd get a tractor, a good tractor, and spend my days tinkering away in the woods. Now I can do that."
He appeared almost shocked, as in pinch-me shocked: His wish came true.
That good tractor arrived on Monday.
Shiny and new, this is the first new vehicle my husband has owned in 15 years. After the struggles he's faced the last five years, struggles with health and work and family, he deserves this happiness, this reward for a lifetime of hard work and heartache. It's the next chapter of our country life together: The Tractor Years.
Speaking of tractor years, it was hard to see the old tractor go. Once shiny and new, that 1958 Massey Ferguson had done its job well, serving the family farm for over 50 years then serving us, tilling gardens and plowing snow, for the last few. My husband restored it with paint and few new parts but it needs a muffler (hence our mouth-open amazement at how quiet this new tractor is; you can stand next to it while it's running and still carry on a conversation). Happily, the old tractor is in good working shape so no junk heap for it; some connoisseur of antique farm equipment will be excited to give it a new home.
And it doesn't matter how young our marriage is, or how old it gets, I will always get up from my office chair and look out to watch my husband driving his tractor around the yard. It's nice, though, to see him doing it now with a big grin on his face.
My Nova Scotia tractor boy is happy.