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Submitted Article
Women and Tractors
The Farmer's Wife and Tractor Engine Repair
by Teri Burkholder

One of the great things about working on a tractor engine with your other half is that you know what he is thinking of at all times and can anticipate his every move and his next thought of what he will do.

With Ben, anyway, I can tell! He'll be busy working and Iím handing him tools and he says, "give me that..." and Iíve already got it in his hand or "hand me that....."and Iíve got the portable light right where he needed it placed to see. "Run in the house and get me a...."as I open the cooler for a cold pop for him to drink. Iíve even itched his nose a few times when he was twitching so he wouldn't get grease on his face! All these things are important and very much a part of tractor repair.

You see, men have a very serious attitude towards engine restoration. Concentration is at its highest peak during these big projects. I do know a little about engine repair but I stand back to let the experts work when they gather together in the garage for conferences. "Well, you know it could be the starter" or "maybe its the magneto", as they all rub their chins with a puzzled look on their faces.

Girls don't concern themselves with these petty problems! The fact of the matter is "I turned the key and it didn't start!". This statement is not a considered helpful input in an Engine Repair Discussion... believe me! This is serious biz! No remarks like "is the key on?" are allowed - that is another one that doesn't go over well. "How much oil is in the thing?" This doesn't matter when it won't start girls! How about,"did you check the anti-freeze?" These are all big no-no's !

There should be an instructional class for girls to take before they help their man work on tractors as not to say the wrong thing to make the job more unbearable then it already is.

We girls know that grease under the fingernails is a definite signal that its time to stop and do a manicure. The smell of diesel fuel is not pleasant and means it's time for some "powder fresh air freshener" to be sprayed! And most of all heaven forbid, if we should ever "break a nail. That's grounds for complete work stoppage!!

We as women need to understand the "manly" task at hand. Not to dwell on small details but to concentrate on the "Big Stuff"- rust particles in the gas tank, bad plugs, a dead battery, or a carburetor that is not carbureting. Not to dwell on the facts that "you like the color red" or that "you'd like a wire basket on the front of the tractor to go to the store with to get a few groceries." Guys hate it when we bring these things up!

But it all comes down to this - they would like us to come out and help them with their restoration projects, but... we are too smart to make it easy on them by not asking these questions. This way the guys will just send us SHOPPING instead.

I can't wait to start the next project!

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