We made our own fun growing up on a farm with lots of cousins, grandparents, uncles and aunts. Sometimes our grandpa or Uncle Ralph would take time to hitch up a wagon and take us for a ride around the farm yard. Especially in winter when there was no field work to be done, but only “chores” and repairs on equipment to be made, Uncle Ralph would sometimes help us hook up a makeshift train of sleds and pull us behind the tractor clear around the barn and through the cow pasture.
When I was old enough I got trained to drive the tractor and pull the hay mower or hay rake or hay wagon during the summer. One time I remember my Uncle gave me permission to go to the tractor shed and start up the tractor and bring it around to where he was working. I got the tractor started all right but when I was ready to back it out of the shed I somehow put it in forward gear instead of reverse. When I let out the clutch that old Farmall tractor lurched right into the back wall of the shed pushing the wall about three feet out at the bottom.
Trembling I got down from the seat and went to tell my uncle what I had done. He didn’t say a word but went to the shed, got up on the tractor, backed it out, went around to the back of the shed, and proceeded to push the wall back into place. A two-by-four appeared for a brace and after a few nails were hammered into place the shed would stand for another decade or more. I was much more careful driving that tractor after that. And I don’t remember my uncle ever again asking me to go get it when he wasn’t present.