You want to know the best thing about being raised a farm girl? It’s not the freedom to skip through the meadows, picking wildflowers. It’s not even the cute kittens that seem to pop out of nowhere and purr and cuddle into your arms. Nope. It’s … tractors! Big ones, green ones, cabless ones, air-conditioned ones. Doesn’t matter the type or make (however, if you noticed, I did purposefully leave out red ones), tractors and other big equipment makes a farm girl’s heart purr more than that kitten she was holding just minutes ago before plopping it on the ground to hitch a ride or … even better … drive the darn thing herself.
Yes, my dear readers, nothing beats the roar to life and then the constant rumble and grumble of the motor vibrating your seat. As a young girl, however, driving grain cart for my dad, I did not appreciate it. To tell the truth, at times I hated it. I wanted to go play with my friends or do normal summertime activities.
Now that I’m a grown up, caged city-girl, I relish the opportunity to fire up an engine and go play in the dirt. There’s power in that steering wheel, ladies. It’s a power that says we can drive a tractor with the best of them. It’s a power that says we can plant fields and then harvest the fruits of our labor. It’s a power that embodies the old WWII Rosie the Riveter poster.
There’s also humor seeing the faces of men as they pass on the highway and see you, a woman, behind the wheel. Simply smile and wave, girls. Smile and wave. So, kick back, ladies, and enjoy your drive. You are kid-free (unless they suckered you into letting them have a tiny ride), dishes-free, lunch duty-free, and laundry-free (for now) for the entire day! Tune into whatever station will come in, turn it up, and embrace the dirt under your fingernails.
What I couldn’t understand as a young teenager, I grasp now: there’s nothing a man can do that a woman can’t behind the wheel of a big piece of machinery. Behind the wheel there’s an equality that’s not prevalent in other facets of society. Behind the wheel there’s a sense of belonging in a male-dominated farming culture. Behind the wheel, you are a farm goddess, rolling things, planting things, digging things, or harvesting things.
I can’t tell you how excited I am about the next step in the life of my next book, Amber Waves of Grace. It’s about to go to agents who requested it. Hopefully, soon, my main character, Corrie, can show the world that farming isn’t just a man’s world. It’s a woman’s world, too.