July 7, 2008 at 8:04 pm 1 comment

There’s only one way to start a post reflecting on this past weekend.  A few of us (I mean, those of us who circle through this community of blogs regularly) lost a good friend on Saturday.  I didn’t know Nick as well as others, but as far as I knew him, and from the sudden and urgent outpouring of grief and kind words that have flooded cell phones and Facebook over the last few days, I think that I can say plainly to those of you who didn’t know Nick Ring that he was a pretty awesome guy in hundreds of ways, and the conditions of his passing are cosmically, tragically unfair.  Those of you who had a closer friendship with him, I hope that the time you take to grieve, in public or in private, helps.  And of course, everyone’s thoughts right now are with his family.

I wonder if I shouldn’t put this blog on a little hiatus’ it’s getting harder to muster up the energy to write new things as often as I used to.  So, in lieu of nothing creative to write about, I’m going to tell all of you about my weekend.  Settle down by Grandpa’s knee…

How many of you have been to Aurora?  I’ve lived in this town my entire life, and I’m beginning to think that I might be living in the sticks and nobody told me.  We have an abundance of farmland here, even after widespread development that creeps ever closer closer CLOSER every time I come home from school after a few months.  I gave this subject serious thought over the weekend as I drove through Brampton, where that farm fresh cow plop smell is lingering everywhere.  We don’t have that smell wafting through downtown Aurora, but venture even 2 minutes outside of town on a hot enough day, and you’ll hit horse pastures and duck farms.

So perhaps I am what I never though I might be: a hick, a redneck, a hayseed yokel destined to inbreed with his purdy cuzzin’s down the farm over yonder. 

A little known fact about me that doesn’t help my case in the slightest: I can drive a couple of different models of tractors with surprising competence.  This is true.  I’ve driven Kubota tractors and Massey-Ferguson tractors (with and without loads).  I’m still waiting very, very patiently for the day when I get to drive the John Deer, the big green monster.  I pass the JD warehouse every time I drive to Cait’s place and I get a little thrill. 

I often (you’d be surprised how often) daydream about the day when one of my good friends is in some kind of mortal peril and must be taken immediately to the hospital.  I picture everyone standing in a large group around aforementioned injured friend, in a state of consternation as to how exactly we are to get this friend of ours to the medical attention they need.  The problem may appear to be easily solved at first; simply find a car and the fastest driver, and all will certainly be well.  But you see, our friend has been gravely injured by falling over a piece of farm equipment in the dark, as our Saturday night escapades have taken us on a cow-tipping adventure.  We’ve left our cars a couple miles back, in the brush, and have no way of easily transporting this person.

Yet, YET, there is one glimmer of hope.  There is, we discover while looking for a phone or HAM radio with which we might contact help, an old but sturdy looking Massey-Ferguson tractor sitting quietly in a barn nearby.  It’s full of diesel, and the keys are resting in the cubby hole on the dash.  But how to make the best use of it?  Who ever possesses the skill and daring required to operate such a cumbersome and undoubtedly complex piece of machinery?  We are but helpless city kids, born and raised in the soft lap of luxury, never once having given thought to the inherent dangers that exist on a darkened farmers field in the middle of the July rainy season.  We were foolish, and what’s more, we may lose one of our number because of our childish gallavanting.

But wait.  One figure steps forward to grasp the keys.  This man (a strapping 6’2, 180 pounds, with a calm demeanor and biting sense of humour) calmly clambers atop the seat of the ol’ Massey, and with one deft motion, engages the clutch, cranks the key to the right with assured force, and firmly, confidently pulls the tractor into first gear.  The wheels churn to life, and slowly, steadily, heroically, the tractor eases out of the barn into the gleaming moonlight to rescue a fallen comrade and carry them to the waiting arms of safe haven.  Cheers are raised, and somewhere and angel probably gets its wings.



The weekend was spent in Brampton with Cait and her family.  We rode mountain bikes, watched Meet Joe Black, and swore at our video games side by side.  It was the best.  We also had sushi (one of us did), lit a fire that burned for almost 24 hours, hit golf balls into a field, and listened to a song about a boy who lives across the river (over and over it seems). 

It was a good weekend, and it could have been a great one were it not for the awful news we received that I mentioned above.  Something like that colors everything gray for a long, long time.


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About Upper Lip

It's mostly a collection of sweet links and copious amounts of talk talk talk. I like it more and more every day. And yes, even the ugly blue/green color scheme is not without a certain charm.

Yours Truly

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And I'm email enabled at steven.j.woodhead@gmail.com

July 2008
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