March 4, 2014

The Tractor Tiff

Old homes are full of charm and character (not to mention full of work to bring that charm and character out). While I'm focused on the interiors of our two houses, Walter's focus has been on the outside. With good reason-- we have water issues.

Both houses lack gutters and proper drainage for water, so where does that water go? If you answered, "In the basement," you're correct. It's a very common problem for old homes, and we knew going into the purchase this was something we'd have to take on.

Thanks to the tractor, Walter went to work digging his long anticipated drainage ditches Saturday.
Walter dug a ditch around the front of the house. He also dug out and laid one running from the basement door underground (where you see all the bare dirt).
Now, if you had talked to me about a year ago, I would have never have said the words "tractor" or "thankful" in the same sentence. Why? Because I was anti-tractor. This tractor was the start of a series of epic battles which will hereby be referred to as Operation Enduring Renovation.

You see, after purchasing our home, there have been a series of debates:
 The Dining Room Rebuttal of June.
The Kitchen Controversy of June... through September.
The "We're Nowhere Near Wiring and Plumbing" Perturbation of November.

But the Tractor Tiff of April, that was our first. While it doesn't hold the record for the longest, it is certainly most memorable.

Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive Roundtree Lane.

 In fact, Walter and I disagreed so strongly that we began to campaign against each other among our family and friends. No matter where we were or who we were with the tractor topic would come up and each of us would practice our rehearsed speech to win over the crowd. (I'm pretty sure, when I wasn't looking, Walter was handing out candy or making promises he didn't intend to keep because a lot of people were going over to his side.) When I saw him having a one-on-one conversation, I would  I knew exactly what was happening and made sure to interrupt.

I admit his points were valid. Sure, we needed to do landscaping. Sure, we might farm in the future. Sure, let's shovel out more money than we paid for both vehicles and our combined college tuition.  I guess we'd need a tractor for that too.

Yet, Walter, being the researcher and relentless debater that he is, laid out a series of logical and irrefutable arguments such as, "I need it to dig ditches," "I need to dig ditches around our house, and "I've got to put in a drain [insert various places across our land here] and that requires digging."

Alright, so it wasn't a series of arguments, it was more of a bombardment of one immediate need. That was his strategy-- to wear me down. He knew if he said the same thing enough but worded it differently I would wear down.

And that wasn't his only trick. He kept taking me to tractor stores, forcing me to watch him drive around on one tractor, two tractors, red tractors, blue tractors. Then, he'd smile at me as if he had never been happier than in that moment. Next to me, a burly tractor expert would sigh while commenting on how Walter was a "natural." Team Tractor for the win.

It wasn't that I wanted to crush Walter's dreams. I was scared. Debt scares me. We had just taken out a loan for a lot of money to purchase a home, and the thought of taking out even more made me feel the closest I ever have to having a nervous breakdown.

So, I was determined to fight for my cause because fear is a great motivator. I was strong at first. When he'd mention the tractor, I would laugh like he was joking. When he'd show me pictures of tractors online, I would look then shrug showing disinterest.

But then, he began to win others over. First it was the salesmen (of course). Then, it was our friends. Even my own family.

I started to crack. In my desperate last attempts, I would feign illnesses such as "Yeah, I admit their useful, but the price makes me want to throw up."

I met my Waterloo when Walter rephrased his "I need it to dig ditches" argument into "If you don't want water in the basement and you want to get in the house sooner than five years from now, I need this."
As you can see, my terms were never met. We still have both vehicles. And a tractor.
He was right. We did need the tractor. I was going down, but I had to let him know my conditions, "Ok," I agreed, "but if we buy this, we're selling a vehicle and you have to drive the tractor to work!"

It was a last-ditch effort.
I had to get in one final dig.
Ok, I'm going to stop there.

The Tractor Tiff was over. Our bank account was the casualty. However, the tractor has proven to be a valuable asset to our farm. It's helped us clear out dry wall rubble. It's cut our acres of grass several times and bush-hogged our unmanageable weeds. It's smoothed out gravels on our driveway. And, of course, it has dug ditches.

Upcoming project: Landscaping the cottage. Walter plans to widen the driveway to the end of the wall, lay in the drain pipe, then, fill in dirt to the top of the wall. This is a mock wall by the way and in no way represents his ability to lay block.
After digging the ditch, Walter put up a mock wall which after digging is finished will become permanent.

This week marks our ONE YEAR anniversary of being HOMEOWNERS! So, check for updates and celebrate with us!

2 comments :

  1. You were doomed from the start, lol! Love that you can take defeat with such grace. Of course, you won in the end with all the cool things the tractor can accomplish (with Walter's help, of course) ;D I have to tell you, I've laughed out loud several times while reading this post. I was supposed to wasn't I? ;D I love you guys and Happy Farmiversary!!!

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