WEATHERED AND WORN

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – WEATHERED


I resisted putting up a picture of me first thing in the morning. It was tempting, but I finally decided to take a pass on that. Weathered and wood resonate for me.

Be there a photographer so dead that he or she had not sought out aging wood barns and homes for great pictures and when that fails, there’s always rust and rot.

An old dodge pickup

Why do we photograph old stuff with such enthusiasm? The simple answer is it’s more interesting. The textures and colors are unique. The texture alone would do it for me.

Sleek, smooth stuff is shiny and often colorful, but you get a lot of depth with the textures of old materials. Wood, brick, stone, iron … it all works beautiful in the right photograph.

Stone bridge over the river and canal
Old Uxbridge Fire Engine 2

And that’s weathered enough for the day except, of course, we can’t leave out our very own weathered 1924 Fordson tractor, growing ever more weathered in our own garden.

OLD TRACTOR IN THE GARDEN

SYMBOL

This week, the Weekly Photo Challenge asks us to share a symbol and explain what it means to us.

Since we are using personal symbols — as opposed to universal, religious, or mathematical symbols — I’m using my old tractor.

72-Tractor-License-Q7_45

My husband gave me the tractor for our tenth anniversary, just a couple of months after we moved into this house. I had admired them, lined up in front of the farm up the road and had noticed some of them were for sale.

72-Tractor-License- roses lilies

I said “That would be so cool in the garden. Kids could play on it. We could climb it. It’s a reminder of our rural roots. An old farm tractor.”

72-Tractor-Garden_016

About a week later, a flatbed truck showed up and dropped the tractor in our driveway. My son and a bunch of his friends pushed it into a better location. We found an old Model-T steering wheel and a long out-of-use license plate. Owen scored a seat on eBay.

tractor with daffodils

We built a rock garden around it and planted the Japanese maple in front of it. The tractor can never be removed from the garden without completely deconstructing it.

For fifteen years, the old 1927 Fordson tractor has lived in the garden, surrounded by day lilies, rocks from the old stone fence in the woods. Roses trail over it. It’s part of the land, part of our garden, a symbol of our life here in the Blackstone Valley.

Some people think it’s rusty junk. They don’t have a clue.

LOVE ME, LOVE MY TRACTOR

You may have noticed the old tractor in the middle of the garden. When we were trying to sell the house some years ago, a couple of potential buyers commented how they’d have to have it towed away. I put a mental black mark next to their names because I love that tractor. If you don’t appreciate the tractor, you won’t like my house (they didn’t)

72-Tractor-29Jun_13It’s a rusty 1928 Fordson. Not a rare vintage; it was common farm equipment in its day. I loved it the moment I saw it, sitting on a lawn up the road a piece. I wanted it. I knew it didn’t run and never would, but for me it was the perfect garden accessory.

Some people put flamingos in their garden. Deer. Ducks. Around Halloween, anything goes and for Christmas — well — we’ve all seen the lengths to which some people will go.

One family just up the road from here has a crèche, a wishing well, several gnomes and a lighthouse almost large enough to use as a real lighthouse, except it’s hollow plastic. I believe they also have several types of small animals tucked in between the other statuary et al. It’s a very busy garden and half the size of ours. Only careful landscaping has allowed them to fit quite so much garden bric-à-brac in so small a space.

And this stuff’s not cheap. If you’ve ever gone and priced garden statuary, a nicely done piece — cement not plastic — can cost you as much as remodeling your kitchen. Well, almost as much. Okay, about half the price.

The tractor wasn’t cheap. It was (is) a real tractor, not some phony doodad. Someone farmed using that piece of machinery. It was, in its day, a serious investment. So I don’t understand why someone would think a fake lighthouse looks cool while yearning for a bigger bogus wishing well, but find our antique tractor odd. Maybe they’d like it better if we’d bought it at Walmart?

tractor with daffodils

Garry bought it for me as a tenth anniversary gift. Now that is a husband who gets his wife. He knew to whom he is married. And that’s why we are still married and likely to remain so forever (or as close to forever as we may).

As we approach our 25th anniversary — now a mere 10 weeks distant — I love my tractor more than ever. It has stood the test of time. In another 13-1/2 years, it will have its hundredth birthday. In its second life, during the past 15 years we have planted around it and vines have grown over it. It is as much a part of the garden as the earth on which it stands.

Love me, love my tractor.