Friday, January 14, 2011

Free time

When I was in high school a friend mentioned in a group conversation that his dad was a farmer.

"No, he's not," I said. "Your dad is a teacher."

"He grows crops sometimes," he said. "He's a hobby farmer."

That was the first time I'd heard the term 'hobby farmer.' I thought it was so strange that someone would choose to do my dad's job in his free time.

When I was an adult working in global purchasing at Caterpillar, I asked my executive boss how his weekend was.

"Great! I bought a tractor," he said.

"Oh ... why?" I said, mystified at why he'd need a tractor.

"Just for fun!" he said. "I drove it around. I might plow up some land."

Hobby! I thought.

And when I told a TechSmith coworker that Kris and I were moving to Michigan to buy my parents' farm, he said, "Nice! Did Kris already find a job in Michigan or is he still looking?"

"He's just going to have the farm," I answered. "We'll be milking about 300 cows."

"Oh! I misunderstood," he said. "I thought you meant you were just going to live on a farm ... not actually farm a farm. Yes, that'll probably take up a lot of his time!"

Today Kris found that the skid steer has a hydraulic leak. They couldn't locate where it was, so he had to call the dealer to come and look. It's not very old, so he's hoping this isn't the beginning of the end for it. He has the other skid steer to use, but again, it doesn't have a closed cab. Since it's 18 degrees today, it makes it pretty cold to use that one. But he'll do it either way - the cattle want to eat, and he wants to feed them.

Because whether it's for fun or for a career, some people just like to drive tractors.


Jules said...

I grew beans last summer, but I think I'm going to start saying I farmed them! Hobby farmer in da hiz-ouse!

Jules said...

Me again. I forgot to mention you have an award waiting for you at Ad Bits.