As many of you will know from first-hand experience, spring seemed today to have, at last, arrived. As I drove home to Queensborough from work late this afternoon the sun was shining, the snow was melting, and the Corolla’s external thermometer was registering 13 degrees. (That’s about 55 in Fahrenheit, for you American folks.) After the brutal, bitter winter we’ve endured, this feels kind of like paradise.
Thanks to the sunshine and the pleasant temperature, the Manse’s front yard as of this writing is perhaps 35% snow-free. (Not so much the back yard, where snow still covers about 95% of it. But we’ll get there.)
But anyway, just seeing a bit of grass, yellowish and dead and muddy though it may be, gets one thinking about the summer months, when there is yard work to be done. I know I complain about yard work sometimes (like here and here), but right now, at the tail end of this obnoxious winter, I can hardly find anything more appealing to think about than being outdoors under the warm sun raking up leftover winter debris from the grass, or planting herbs, or weeding the flower garden.
Now, as I’ve written before, we have a fairly spacious lawn – which means there’s quite a bit of maintenance to be done. Our neighbour John does a great job of cutting the grass, but at some point maybe Raymond and I should get our act together and do it ourselves. (Or not.) And in the fall there are a lot of leaves and evergreen needles to pick up. And sometimes there are fallen branches or piles of dirt to move and – well, you get the picture. Yard puttering.
My cousin Bruce has suggested (in a comment on my post here) that the best thing ever for yard puttering (and snowblowing) is a small tractor. And in fact, a while back Raymond was eyeing a used (and modified) tractor that was for sale south of Madoc, but it’s long gone. I’d kind of tucked the thought away into the back of my mind, but was reminded of it this past weekend when we came upon the extremely cute bright-red Massey Ferguson tractor that you see Raymond with atop this post. Is that not just the bee’s knees, people? We found it at the display of very well-regarded local car and farm-machinery dealership McKeown Motor Sales of Springbrook (or is that Spring Brook? You can see my post on that topic, which references McKeown’s, here) at the Quinte Home and Lifestyle Show in Belleville. That adorable tractor had a front-end-loader bucket and a little wee backhoe; I can’t really see us needing a backhoe, but the good news is you can get it without it, and it’s (no surprise) cheaper that way. Meanwhile, you can also get other attachments, like a blade for plowing snow – and I wouldn’t be surprised if a snowblower was an option too. And you could have a trailer, and – well, just think of the possibilities!
And on top of that, the tractor is the brightest red (my favourite colour) imaginable.
So not only would Raymond have a wonderful time putzing around on it, but it would match both his pickup truck and the Manse’s oil tank!
What could possibly go wrong with this plan?