Monday, April 12, 2021

The CASE Garden tractor project

A few years ago, Atticus attended his first farm auction with me. We stumbled across this old case garden tractor. He loved it and I thought a project for us would be good father/son time. This little tractor turned out to be a 1965 Case garden tractor. That was the first year Case made a garden tractor, and it was one of the first hydrostatic tractors ever made. We have tinkered with it off and on over the last few years. We had short lived success a couple of times, but then something would malfunction and we (I) would get busy with other things. Quite honestly, I had just never fully committed myself to the project enough to make this tractor usable for my little sidekick. He reminded me often, and we would work on it enough to satisfy his desire to tinker.

Understand, that one of my favorite things about Facebook is the "Memories" feature, and a couple of weeks ago the "Memories" feature gave me a big fat reality check. FB informed me that it was 4 years ago when the above left picture was taken. That was the day we brought that little tractor home. I couldn't believe 4 years had come and gone. He looked so small sitting on that broken down little tractor. I felt so convicted about that memory. What was I teaching my boy by leaving that tractor in the barn for 4 years while he asked about it often. My fear is that I was subliminally telling him that he and his project wasn't important enough for me to spend my time on. I decided that day that I would no longer be that dad, and that he will always be able to recognize his worth to me by my words and my actions. Over the next 2 weeks, every spare minute I could carve out of my schedule was spent getting to the bottom of all the little issues that this tractor had. I'm proud to say we now have a fully functional 1965 CASE garden tractor that (usually) starts right up and purrs like a kitten. We even went ahead and built a small trailer to go with it. (note: I offered to paint it, but Atticus likes the rusty patina look.) The takeaway is this; When you feel convicted about something, face it, deal with it, rectify it. I'm not sure how much better Atticus feels about having this little tractor running, but I know I feel much better. Enjoy it son.