Okay, running machinery is cool.
Calling it heavy machinery is a bit of a misnomer. The skidsteer is one of the smallest pieces of mobile equipment that Bill’s folks have on the farm. A bit bigger than the ride-on mower (with trailing wagon) that his mom was using to pick stone, but much smaller than the backhoe, the tractor, or the dump truck.
But it’s still pretty sweet.
It wasn’t supposed to be that way; Bill and I were in the same car, so we drove together to the farm. The deal was that I’d do an errand or two there, then go back home and start modifying a commissioner.
(Which turned out well, when I eventually got to it.)
But… well. The ground was visible, all the snow melted and the mud receded. Within a few days, it’d be overgrown with grass and not visible again.
There were six piles of manure on the back field, left since last fall. They needed spread, today. Bill’s dad was in the North Country for business. Bill’s mom (and the hired help) were picking rock. (Neither is good with equipment.) Bill was running the manure spreader. And… someone needed to load it, and I’d run the skid-steer for fun once or twice before. (For reference, the controls for the vehicle part are basically identical to the controls in Katamari Damacy.)
And… clarifying that absolutely no one was expecting this… it went frickin’ fantastically.
Seriously, I’d driven it twice before, just to move it around a little. I never got the bucket commands. On the other hand… it was a simple job. Put the bucket flat to the ground. Drive quickly into the pile of manure. Raise the bucket. Drive over to the manure spreader, lift the bucket, tilt the muck into the spreader. Repeat.
It took two thirds of the day to get at all efficient at it. But, during the whole thing… even with manure continually raining onto my face (learned too late you don’t lift the bucket and travel… got a whole matted mess onto the grate top of the cab, which was a gift that kept giving), my hair everywhere, and wearing clothes a bit nicer than I’d have preferred… it was awesome. I was doing stuff, it was needful, I was doing it right and I was the best person for the job!
And… I’m not sure there’s a replacement for that.
I also made the edits to the commission that evening, which also went awesomely. Basically, I can’t think of much about yesterday I’d change.
Everything is awesome.