December 19: Tractor Time

Christmas Jelly is our latest book of short stories. Learn more at

Christmas Jelly is our latest book of short stories. Learn more at

L.D.Spears melon field. South Dry Creek, LA
L.D. Spears melon field. South Dry Creek, LA


Tractor Time



When this old world starts getting me down

And people are just too much for me to face.

I climb way up to the top of the stairs

And all my cares just drift right into space.
On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be

And there the world below can’t bother me.

-On the Roof

Carole King


We all enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season . . . but enough is enough.

It’s so easy to hit overload during this time of year—It can be sensory overload or



Too many lights,

Too many commercials.

In the midst of this wonderful chaos, we must carve out a time and place to get away.

Carol King goes on up a New York City roof.

I get on my Dry Creek tractor.

Everyone—including you—needs something—or somewhere—where they can escape it all. A place where cares drift away, and relaxation slips in as a cool breeze.

My favorite place for this peaceful retreat is on a tractor. I climb aboard, prime the diesel engine and soon see the world from a different perspective. I get a more balanced and serene view.

I’m not sure how a tractor ride accomplishes this. It’s probably in my country genes. Hooking my old Kubota tractor to a bush hog, disk, or box blade is all it takes.

Yesterday was a good example. It was a warm day for late December. My chore was plowing fire lanes around our tree farm.

Riding a tractor is even better when you’re pulling a plow. There are few smells that lighten the soul like freshly turned earth. It’s a smell God made pleasing for a man to breathe in.

Tractor time, as I call it, is something I need often, especially during the busy holiday season.

Do you make time for “tractor time?” You may not kowtow to the idea of riding on a chugging tractor. You may not even own one, or have a place to ride.

I’ve got friends with variations of tractor time—a thinking fire, rocking time, a long walk, or a long soak in a hot tub.

Another writer who cherished solitude, Henry David Thoreau, said it this way,

“I’d rather sit on a pumpkin and have it to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

Maybe there aren’t pumpkins or tractors where you live. Like Carole King in New York City, you may have to find your solitude in a different place.

When I come home feelin’ tired and beat.

I go up where the air is fresh and sweet.

I get away from the hustling crowds

And all that rat race noise down in the street.
On the roof’s, the only place I know

Where you just have to wish to make it so

Oh, let’s go up on the roof
At night the stars put on a show for free

And darling, you can share it all with me

I keep a-telling you,

Right smack dad in the middle of town

I found a paradise that’s trouble proof

Up on the roof

So if this world starts getting you down

There’s room enough for two up on the roof

Up on the roof.

As you enjoy Christmas, take some tractor time, or roof time, or a lonely pumpkin.

It’ll keep you sane and bring joy and perspective to your holiday.

Order your copy(s) of Christmas Jelly at
Order your copy(s) of Christmas Jelly at



About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana Pineywoods life.

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