Stories Told

The ponder seat

This is where I do my best thinking.

My 1998 Craftsman lawn tractor

My tractor was a birthday gift from my wife 12 years ago – the biggest and most expensive gift I’ve ever gotten. We had a half-acre yard full of mature, prolific trees. Before the tractor, every autumn Saturday my wife, stepson, and I went at full tilt all day raking and bagging fallen leaves. Those Saturdays were brutal, and woe betide us if we skipped one. I dreamed of driving a tractor around the yard, sucking up the leaves into a catcher, my family sitting on the patio sipping iced tea and smiling brightly and waving whenever I passed.

After the tractor came, of course I mowed the yard with it every week. It didn’t take long before I could do the work on autopilot, effortlessly navigating obstacles. The world slipped away while I drove my tractor – even the Briggs and Stratton roar faded into the background – and my mind was free to think and dream. It was time just for me. I can’t remember any epiphanies or even darned good ideas that came from my ponder seat, but when I put the tractor back in the shed I was always mentally refreshed.

I’ve downsized to about a third of an acre where the autumn leaves are a more bearable chore. I could get by without a tractor now, yet I clean and tune up my tractor every spring for another season. I can’t believe it still runs after this many years – I wish my cars lasted as long! As long as it keeps starting, I’ll keep looking forward to my weekly mind-renewing trip around the yard.

Last updated on 25 January 2020 by Jim Grey

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4 thoughts on “The ponder seat

  1. Lone Primate says:

    Nice. :) When I was a kid, the coolest thing I ever got to do was drive the ride-on mower around the lot at the cottage. We shared it with three other families, though, so the competition among the under-16 crowd could be fierce. But I bet it would STILL make me feel powerful to ride it. :D

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