She came into my life about 12 years ago. That scruffy little gal named Betty Ford -- the 1950 Ford 8n tractor. Nevermind that she was an "old gal." She could still cut that pasture with the best of them.
Once the cutting deck was installed I spent many happy hours driving lazily back and forth across the pasture. The birds would swoop down in front of me -- in anticipation of the bugs, including grasshoppers, that would be hearing the ground shake and moving out of the way.
The llamas and alpacas would look up -- and sometimes not even move away -- because they didn't see Betty as any kind of threat. She was just another farm helper -- making their grazing more delicious.
I readily admit that I baby-ed that tractor. If she got too hot -- I shut her down. If she had some labored breathing while climbing the rolling hills in the pasture -- I let her "set a bit" until she could catch her breath. Sort of like me.
On Saturday, May 5, 2012, she took her last breath.
I started her up in the covered garage -- and she blew a piston. Her guts literally blew out of the trtactor. I spent Saturday -- and most of Sunday -- crying. My life will never be the same.
Some people would say that it is silly to cry over a tractor. I'm not one of those people.
Goodbye Betty Ford.