There are lots of modern inventions that make my life so much easier than my ancestors. I love my dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, indoor plumbing and a good pressure washer. But oddly enough, the two that always receive a thankful prayer are the differential lock and the bleach sponge.
I learned a long time ago there are two types of drivers: those who sit in the seat to steer and those who are operators. An operator drives with the seat of their pants – or as we say around here, "drive with your butt."
I like to think I have learned to be an operator, albeit a rookie, but at least an operator. This is where the differential lock comes in. It's that "seat of your pants" feeling you get when the tractor sinks even a millimeter and one rear wheel makes a slight slip. It only takes your brain a mere half a second to stomp on the pedal between the clutch and the brake.
Related: Confessions of a Farm Wife
We work really hard at staying off of wet ground but in the fall when harvesting, wet spots seem to hide under corn trash. I can be cruising along all happy and singing loudly with the radio, grain cart being topped off, combine unloading auger pouring beautiful gold and then I feel it "in the seat of my pants" and my first instinct is to stomp!
And as you stomp you feel that slight lock and continue moving forward. I always whisper, "Dear God, thank you for allowing me to have feeling in my rear and bless Mr. Deere for the foresight in differential lock technology. Amen."
For future reference, I am accustomed to running the John Deere 40 series tractors. When this happens to me in our 8420 it can be comical – all that really happens is the steering wheel flies up, and in that case a prayer for Mr. Deere is not coming out of my mouth.
My second favorite invention is the bleach sponge. As a mom of three, a hog farmer's wife and pretty much an all-around slob myself, I find the bleach sponge magical! Once my husband referred to our home as Typhoid Mary. (Jokingly, I hope?)
I am 44, but sometimes my Mom has to come over and help me clean. One time, when my kids were little, my Mom came to help clean earlier in the day.
When the kids got home in the afternoon, they walked in the house and said, "What is that smell?" I had to look my children in the eyes and tell them it was cleaning supplies.
They replied, "Wow, Mom. They smell good. You should use them more often!"