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View from the Cab: The back field lane

Kent's cab view of his family's "back field lane" last week / CIFN photo.

Isn’t it funny how a grass lane leading to the back 80 can bring back so many memories?

As I was driving the tractor and auger wagon up this lane last week, I suddenly went back in time to my childhood. I was sitting in the driver’s seat of a small four-speed Ford Escort learning how to drive a stick for the first time. I then imagined myself on the old John Deere 2010 tractor with an AM radio mounted on the side mowing the tall grass with a Woods mower.

I recall pretending to do road construction on that lane as a kid as I would haul buckets of rock a quarter mile from the farm to fill in a low spot. Old saw horses from the tool shed served as barricades and construction signs were handwritten on wood. My old dirt bike traveled up and down the grass lane numerous times. In fact, it could probably drive itself in later years.

Our snowmobile was perfect for the lane as we always had plenty of room to jump through snow drifts while staying off the nearby plowed field. My brother and I even tooled around on an old moped along the lane. This was the ultimate getaway for two farm boys.

The family walks we took on that lane were priceless. We chatted. We laughed. We walked alongside our dog and cats for an evening stroll in the summer. The world’s troubles didn’t seem to exist when walking down that lane. The peace and quiet on that little piece of paradise tucked between two farm fields was unreal.

Whenever kids come to visit Dad’s farm, we usually take them down the lane in one of the tractors. Riding on a grass strip for a half mile is quite the experience for those who aren’t exposed to farm life very often.

I literally travel down this memory lane each spring and fall and it’s quite the experience. Hopefully, this piece of history never gets plowed up and always serves as a landmark on the farm of my youth. My kids even enjoy riding the golf cart, Gator and tractors on the lane. I hope to give my son and two daughters driving lessons in the years to come just like my parents did with me. That in itself is priceless.

(The View from the Cab blog is powered by Petersen Motors of Fairbury)

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