Amy's new doMy girlsWhen your children move away, you look forward to every trip they make home. The further the distance from their home to yours, the longer the time between visits. For our daughter, Amy Royce, that means almost a year since she was last in Casper. Bob and I have been out there, but our daughter, Corrie Petersen and her family have not. For them it has been a full year since they saw Amy. Corrie is no stranger to having a loved one living away from home, because her son, Chris Petersen, has been living in Sheridan, Wyoming, going to college for two years now. He graduates this year, but has decided to stay in Sheridan. We miss him very much, and love it every time he comes home…which thankfully, is more often than Amy and her family are able to. Nevertheless, this is the first time in her life that it has been a year since Corrie last saw her sister, and it has been hard. I think that in reality, it doesn’t matter who you are, when your loved one is far away, it is an emotional time.

As I said, we have all been looking forward to having Amy home for a week. She has made the trip for my grandson, her nephew, Chris Petersen’s college graduation, so it is time to celebrate both events. She will also be visiting with her friends here in town too, and I know that they are all excited about that. Her event calendar is very full already, and finding time to squeeze everything in gets more complicated by the minute, but…Amy’s coming home…so we will deal with the rest. A complicated schedule is minor in the grand scheme of things, and I suppose I do have to share her with her friends…at lease a little bit.

I think that the person who has probably had the most difficult time…here anyway, is my granddaughter, Shai. Yes, she has been to Washington to see her family several times, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are Amy & ShaiAmy and Carynso far away, and she misses them so much. Shai and I work together, and I have walked up to her desk several times to find her wiping away a tear. It broke my heart, because I can’t stand to see one of my kids or grandkids hurting so much. Of course, with her move to Washington coming up quickly, those tears of missing her family will be gone, and while I will miss her terribly, I know in my heart that is is best for her, so I’ll be happy for her. And in reality, while my kids and grandkids might move away, I know that they know the way back home, so they will all be coming home now and then.

A couple of weeks ago, my brother-in-law, Ron gave his dad, my father-in-law a calendar from 2012 that he had used at work…not for the calendar but for the pictures. They were all pictures of tractors through the years. We all took a look at that calendar, because it was interesting to see how much tractors had changed over the years, and the different makes for that matter. I remember seeing one that could have easily passed for a travel trailer, were it not for the tractor wheels. And there were makes that even my father-in-law hadn’t heard of, and having grown up on ranches, I would have expected that he would know them all.

Since the Industrial Revolution, which occurred from 1760 to somewhere between 1820 and 1840, when manufacturing transitioned from hand production to machines, technology never stops changing. There are always new ideas, and someone to invent them. I recalled seeing a couple of pictures among the old pictures I have been going through, that showed a couple of different tractors used by members of Bob’s and my families. Even though these pictures probably weren’t taken that far apart in years, the two tractors are very different from one another. I suppose that the tractors themselves could have been much different in age, since you often use a machine for many years before it wears out, and they could have been for different work, thereby requiring different designs, but I was struck, nevertheless, by the vast difference in their design. My father-in-law also told me that it could depend on the area of the country, as to what makes of tractor were available. That makes sense too, in that different climates, and growing seasons might require different types of wheels and designs. I suppose that humidity could play a part in how the engines ran as well, and so could affect what tractor make would work better in those areas.

Technology is changing so fast these days that tractors may one day be obsolete, you never know. I mean…who ever thought there would be a vacuum cleaner that cleaned by itself, and yet now we have them. I don’t mean to say that crops will ever harvest themselves, or that the ground will just stay plowed, but one day there might be a machine that does those jobs with just a little bit of programing. Then, like the Roomba, which is no longer called a vacuum, the tractor might change its name with the modern advancement of automation too.

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