Friday, September 28, 2007
This is one of my favorite pictures in the world. From left to right: My oldest sister Amy, me, my older brother Joel, my older sister Amber. We are in the bed of the wooden trailer, "the flat," attached to my grandpa's tractor. My sisters and I are wearing hats crocheted for us by our aunt (look closely, Amber and Joel have scarves on, too!).
My grandpa's tractor was once his father's. My dad has memories of riding on that tractor; I have memories of riding on it. Now my children enjoy going for tractor rides on their great-great grandfather's tractor.
My grandmother loves tractor rides through the snow. Each year at the first snow fall, my dad still goes out to his parent's house to hitch up the old wooden trailer to pull his mother through the snow-covered fields and woods. This tradition is enjoyed by generations of my family.
One of my most idyllic memories on this tractor happened almost five years ago. It was Christmas Eve and while we were all congregated at my grandparents' house, it started to snow. Someone suggested a tractor ride and soon we were all borrowing extra coats, hats, gloves and scarves from Grandma and Grandpa to gear up for a ride.
It was dark outside but the moon shone brightly as we watched the snowflakes float from the sky above down onto the fields. My dad's family is full of pleasant voices and soon someone began to sing. Our impromptu harmonized caroling echoed in the hills that dark night as a we rejoiced in our family and the birth of our Savior. The Spirit stayed with us even after our weight (I guess we're too big to all pile on the old tractor now) temporarily broke the trailer. I still felt the love and peace of the night as we lightly crunched through the snow on our way back to the house where my grandparents raised their four children.
So, when I look at this picture I see a symbol of my happy childhood. I see a legacy left to my children by their great-great grandparents of being hard workers and loving God. I see the love of an extended family--from my aunt who made our winter wear to my dad who now delights in taking my children for tractor rides. I see the little girl Mendy who was surrounded by love...and who has never had a prayer of having thin cheeks!