Philip slept until after nine this morning. I was in no hurry to wake him up. It is Sunday, after all and we don’t have plans until evening. Plus, there was the whole tractor pull thing last night.
Yes, it is that time of year. The first sanctioned event of the Ohio State Tractor Pullers Association was held last night at the Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds in Dover, Ohio. Since Peter has his follow-up surgery in a few weeks, he won’t be able to attend any events in July. That’s why despite the threat of thunderstorms we left our house in late afternoon for the drive south.
The clouds made for pleasant driving, but we could see we were headed straight toward the blackest skies. Sure enough, thirty minutes away from the venue, raindrops began to fall. The downpour hit about ten minutes out. Still, we knew we had left clear skies and hoped that the event would still take place.
Despite the threat of “no refunds” we paid our admission fee as the storm slowed to a drizzle. We ate in the car, making sandwiches from deli meat and cheese that we had bought on our way at market in Apple Creek. The rain continued, but it started to get stuffy in the car. We decided we would be cooler if we waited to see how things turned out in the grandstands.
It was definitely more comfortable in the open air, but it was still an hour before the scheduled 7:00 pm start time. Thankfully, the rain did stop, and a few rays of sun appeared on the horizon. Then, lo and behold, one of the tractors started up and there was hope.
It took the staff over an hour to prep the pulling track. It was after 8:00 pm and the still were measuring the track to mark the boundaries, so I took Philip to the car for a diaper change. He had been quite patient through the whole thing, but he was not happy about leaving the car. I think he assumed that whatever we had been doing was over. Wouldn’t you think so, too, after a couple of hours?
Philip cried all the way back to the grandstands. He finally calmed when I sang him a song, but he was on edge when the first tractor hooked up to pull.
And then the tractor stalled.
It was until the second tractor that Philip got upset. The smoke filling the sky really seemed to scare him, more than any of the noise. In one of those “aha!” moments, I realized I should explain to him what was happening.
“Don’t worry – the sled is moving back to the starting line. Okay, the tractor is hooking up now. Nothing will happen until the green flag. Okay! Green flag!”
Philip refused to wear his earmuffs, so I covered his ears with my hands while he buried his face in my chest. I knew the deep pressure would help anyway.
After he peeked out from hiding, I began talking again. “Okay, that tractor is being towed off. Now here come the other tractors to smooth the track. The sled is out the starting line again. It’s okay, the next tractor is still hooking up. Green flag!”
Soon, Philip seemed to understand the process. He even echoed, “Green flag!” He hid less, curiosity drawing him out to see the track. He started smiling and even clapping.
Nevertheless, it was already 11 pm when the fourth of five classes began and it was announced that an electrical issue had caused a loss of power to the lights on the track. Plus, they said there was the possibility of outages elsewhere, including the stands.
Philip fell asleep in the car on the way home and moved from the car to the couch to resume his snoozing. I slept in, too. All that fresh air, noise and track pulling can wear a girl out.