This one was a bonus. With flights delayed till the day after next, I was warmly welcomed back at the Woychik homestead. It was surreal, just like the other time this happened—back to “normal” one more time. Fed the cats, let the chooks out, watered the guinea pigs, picked peaches, and, in an accident of good timing, got to ride along on the tractor as Jerry cut the alfalfa for baling.
It was a beautiful evening, a peach-coloured sun dipping towards the trees at the edge of the field. Grasshoppers by the hundreds fled the tractor’s advance at every turn of the wheel and the haybine chewed the crop in tidy rows as Jerry flung and spun the steering wheel to keep it on track.
Riding five feet up, on the fender above the giant wheel, was a little nerve-wracking at first, but I got the hang of it (or should that be the “hang-on” of it?) and smiled all the way round…and round…and round. The fresh, balmy air, the drone and sputter of the John Deere, and the bumps in the turf made a very memorable experience for this city gal who’s got a lot of country in her heart after all.
Later, on those long, long flights, I closed my eyes and imagined myself back on the green fender with the breeze in my face.