Most girls think about Valentines Day and what might come it, the special somethings or someone who will brighten this holiday. Mine came a little early this year. :) I had a pretty full day lined out, just normal household stuff which is pretty boring. As Cash, my hubby , left the house he mentioned that this would be the last day I could try running the excavator!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAAAAAA - man, all bets are off and I AM OUT OF THE HOUSE. I mean it's a huge piece of equipment and has lots of gidgets, gadgets, and gizmos. The fact that my wonderful man would even consider putting me behind the wheel--- well that's an amazing feat in and of itself. (Wait there was no wheel of any kind!!! Just levers and foot pedals!!) As he traded places places with me in the cab, he starts telling what not push first. :) There are a few crazy things I could have done but maybe not on my first trip out. As I sat trying to catch my breath and think, it was soooo much fun but what an awesome responsibility. Don't hurt anything, anybody ect., watch for the dogs and your wonderful rancher taking pix!! ;) The pedals on the floor would run the track and move the entire machine. Those I didn't start with because I was already to position. However, each hand has a joystick - wow - it goes more than 4 ways each cuz there are in between spots. So that's eight ways to think at the same time - did I happen to mention I'm blonde!! :) Well, after a few misses I kinda got the hang of it but went really slow. I gave Cash a camera and he took a couple shots -
After I started and got the basics figured out, I was wishing I had a camera and a second set of hands and eyes because Cash started making hand signals at me as to what and how to dig - "curl the bucket", "stretch the arm", "go deeper", "don't take the bank" - you can use your own imagination cuz it got pretty creative.
(Notice my faithful companions - Skip and Skotch. Now needless to say they didn't sit here very long as that's exactly where the arm was swinging to dump the dirt. Once I had to bang the bucket over them cuz they wouldn't move. Eventually they moved farther down and did a better job at staying out of the way. )
Back to the hand signals - if your a ranch wife you know these are a dreaded means of communication. What you think he is saying by waving, squeezing, circling his hands and the gyrations of his arms may completely and totally not be what he is thinking with his mind!!!! The one I can recognize the best is when he drops his arms in disgust and walks away - obviously I wasn't thinking the way he was waving :) Oh - the one I thought was funny was the hand signals meaning you are dropping the dirt too high from the bucket and splashing too much. The dirt was full of water and would really splash mud all over the cab if the bucket was elevated when you rotated and dumped it. Now I'm not the one who has the job of cleaning the cab - I did find the window washer and it was full of fluid so I could still see out. :)
Cash soon decided that I had things under control and left to work in a different area. I spent about an hour and a half getting braver and more accurate with the bucket and arm. I even mastered running the foot pedals and moving. I had a dickens of a time remembering where the lever to lift the blade was - more hand signals!! :) However, it didn't take much more time than that and I was back to being the wife of a rancher. As he walked up, he grinned and said he wanted some lunch and I was demoted back to my original job. Man - I love that guy!!!!
Never had any idea when I married him over 27 years ago that we'd have so much fun together. Ya know the verse in the bible that says He'll "give you the desires of your heart" (Ps. 37:4) - never in a million years would I have known that running an excavator would be a desire but it was ....pretty cool that God maps all this stuff out before you're even thought of (Ps 139:16). Till you hear from me again - next I think I'll introduce you to the horses :)