A Bob kind of adventure

Susan Manzke

Wonderful fall weather meant my husband Bob brought out our cart for a ride down our farm lane toward our woods. The soybeans had been combined off, and the field was wide open.

Bob wanted to get close to the tree line. Now was his chance.

Bob drove. I rode along, as did our dog, Sunny.

Problem areas were visible. Wet, muddy ruts left by the combine showed the worst places. Those were easy to avoid. Most of the rest of the field looked perfect for our trek, except when we got close to the woods.

When the cart wheels started spinning on a hidden slippery patch, Bob gunned the engine, hoping to make it across. That didn’t work. We were stuck.

Bob with tractor and stuck cart

"It can’t be that bad,” Bob said. “I think I can push it out.”

I was to work the gas as Bob pushed. We had to go back and forth a few times, but we got free.

The following day was still beautiful and warm. Off we went again. This time we stayed on the lane. On the way back, Bob took a detour to take a look at a fallen tree in a different soybean field.

I said to stay on the high ground. Somehow Bob didn’t hear me. After leaving the windblown tree, he ventured around the hills and toward the field he had planted with oats as a ground cover.

The growth on the oats flabbergasted Bob. “A few more days, and we could combine this.”

Bob was so intent on looking that he drove into a soupy area. “We’re going to get stuck,” I warned.

He hit the gas, and oh boy did we get stuck. There was no pushing out the cart. We had to walk home, accompanied by Sunny, to get a tractor.

After leaving the dog home, I joined Bob on the tractor and headed back to fetch the cart.

I didn’t want Bob to get too close to the mud; I was sure we’d get the tractor stuck.

The cart was so deep and the mud so expansive, we almost buried the tractor, too. Luckily, Bob managed to back the tractor out while pulling the cart back. End day two.

Day three, the sun was shining again. I was the one who suggested another cart ride. Again, we headed toward the woods, avoiding the slippery spot that had caught us the first day.

As the cart slowed, and mud flew off the wheels, I knew we had made another mistake. We were stuck again.

It would have been a LONG walk home over bumpy ground. Bob didn’t think his legs would hold up, so we worked together to get the cart free.

I got off, leaving Sunny sitting on the seat looking like a king. It was my plan to work the gas pedal while pushing alongside the cart. Bob had his hands braced in the back and pushed from there.

“One, two, three.” I leaned over to give it power.

The wheels spun but then caught, and we moved forward out of the mud.

Oh no! I found myself in trouble. I was at such an angle I couldn’t let go of the gas pedal. It flashed through my mind that I could run myself over, at least my foot.

With a big heave-ho I shoved back from the moving cart. The ground came up to meet me. I landed on my hands, knees and face in the soft soil. Crack! My sunglasses met the ground and my nose. Ouch! The cart stopped as I rolled away.

Nothing seemed broken. I rolled over on my back and laughed. “If this happened to our kids when they were young, we’d have chided ‘how could you do that three days in a row?’ Now I can just hear what they are going to say to us.”

We’re still laughing. Okay, I wasn’t laughing so much when I got up with an aching body the next day. Still, you can be sure we’ll be taking these adventures as long as we can, but maybe it’s time to think about getting a four-wheel drive cart.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;