New Tractor

Yesterday was a red letter day, complete with a 46″ cutting deck and a discounted highway trailer. But before I celebrate what is new, please allow me to commemorate what has passed.

She was a John Deere Hydro 165. I say “she” because, in my experience, tractors are always girls. This has more to do with industry terminology and less to do with my own personal observation. She was given — no — entrusted to us while she ran her final hours on earth. DavidsonHouse was, in essence, her retirement village, where she was asked to only mow about 1/3 of an acre, which was often followed by multiple episodes of resuscitation.

As time went on, though, it became evident that the most dignified thing would be to let her rust in a pile. Again, just like your more “discount” retirement villages. For those of you who read this blog (Hi, Mom), let me say that I am happy to report that a large majority of our retirement villages offer superior treatment of the elderly at a reasonable rate, thanks in part to rigorous state laws that impose steep penalties for allowing a resident to rust in a pile.

Thankfully, we’re talking about a tractor here and not a person, even though I am continually referring to the John Deere Hydro 165 as “she”. For a detailed explanation of why I am doing this, please see above. This tangent has been inserted because I know that some people like to start reading at the center and then work their way out. This is often called “Onion Reading” and should never, ever, ever be treated as a viable method of reading instruction. Nevertheless, like an old John Deere, this educational approach hangs on for dear life.

Until it’s time for life to come to its natural conclusion. In the case of our John Deere, that time was at about 4:30 yesterday. That was when Emily and I decided to go to a store and purchase a new riding mower.

I spent a few weeks in South Carolina with my grandparents when I was 8 years old. Young enough to take seriously the call to rescue the princess in Mario Brothers, but old enough to be severely homesick. And worried. I was, after all, a big brother to Sarah, who was only 2. I should also mention that I was a serious control freak who worried incessantly about her general safety. Being 2,000 miles away was great, but my concern for my baby sister was overwhelming. I couldn’t sleep. So — I got up, went out to Grandma’s living room and stated my case. And here’s the tractor part: Grandma brought great peace to my little heart by telling me 1. about Jesus and 2. that there was a tractor waiting for me in heaven. Well, I think the second part was more my suggestion, but she went with it. In fact, a tractor was a major part of someone explaining the gospel message to me.

So, yeah. I’ve always had a thing for tractors. By the way — Sarah was fine while I was gone and is now a happily married graduate student who has a wonderful husband to look after her. Incidentally, she does not have a tractor.

Welcome to DavidsonHouse, new tractor. Husqvarna. What a funny name. Whenever I see it, I want to buy a vowel, but Pat Sajack is nowhere to be seen. Incidentally, he does not have a tractor.

We do. In fact, we now have two. The Husqvarna with the 46″ cutting deck and dependability, and the old John Deere, whose path to the junk pile is clearly marked. It’s been good, but it’s time to move on. Adios, green. Hello, orange.

Malachi (age 4) is sad to see the green tractor go. Perhaps I will use the opportunity to tell him about Jesus.

About radamdavidson

When I'm not blogging, I'm hanging out with my family, pastoring a church, or listening to vinyl. I think and write about Jesus, music, communication, organizational leadership, family whatnot, and cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at, watch [RadCast], a daily 3 minute video devotional, or find me on socials (@radamdavidson). I also help Pastors in their preaching and public speaking (
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