Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tripping Those Memories!

Memory tempers prosperity, mitigates adversity,
controls youth, and delights old age.

Imagine my surprise when I came across a piece of my youth sitting smack dab in the middle of a farm machinery auction. I am pretty sure this memory would not have been so powerful if not for the location. I truly love when that happens.

We arrived at the full parking lot of the sales barn where the sun combined with the heavy frost glistened and reflected off the roof of the barn and bounces off the various pieces of machinery. The bright sun was trying its best to melt this blanket of white. I leapt out of the truck off to capture this frozen beauty waiting to be explored. There is a brisk wind and I am certainly grateful for those long johns. I walk around photographing every detail that struck my fancy. I walked among men talking about horsepower and torque (?) not really caring about what that was. I as usual peak the interest of some of the local farmers wondering why I am crouched down trying to shoot the drops of water melting from the steering wheel of an old tractor. I look at them and ask Beautiful isn't it, and with a funny grin they reply “Sure” I imagine they are thinking OK another one of those strange city people.

I make my way around the circle of machinery placed side by side being viewed by people wearing coveralls, warm hoodies and work boots. I listen to them talk about the weather; I think to myself what is it about farmers and this obsession with the weather at the same time wondering when the sun was going to warm the air and if those clouds far off in the distance meant rain. I try to capture every detail by bending stretching and reaching as high as I could to get that perfect shot. It appears photography is a lot like a workout at the gym.

Off in the distance I noticed a huge red tool box that I am sure My Hero would truly be drooling over so I thought at the very least I would get him a photo of it because I knew it would not be coming home with us. We had come to look at a chopper to chop and take advantage of that grass growing in those hay fields hoping to feed our cows that nice green grass blown into a forage wagon and save those precious few winter hay bales. I was taking the shot when I noticed something that flooded my mind with memories from long ago.

A Pinball Machine, I could not believe it surrounded by tractors, balers, manure spreaders, boxes of baler twine and other farm related items. I immediately went to feel the buttons; I scratch the frost from the top, I see the 100 point bumper and proceed to relive my youth. I remembered as a kid spending summers at my Grandparents in the little town with the sandy beach and spending hours and I must say many coins placing them in the slot of one of those, not quite the same as this one, machines. I would scour the beach and the rail yard gathering pop bottles and cashing them in at the corner store. I would take those coins and head to the arcade.

I remember honing my skills as the other kids would watch knowing they could not possibly beat my ever increasing score. I remember the cheering and that feeling of being so special in this world, a feeling I had struggled to feel on the outside. I remember becoming so skilled at this machine I could make one coin last a couple of hours to the amazement of the other kids.

Oh how wonderful it was that the memory I had lost would show up on a frosty morn at a farm machinery auction surrounded by farmers and I am sure many more dreamers. I could tell by the interest in this particular Pinball machine that there were many dreamers like me in this crowd.


Oh how I wished I had a quarter and an extension cord.



  1. did you buy it??

  2. Thanks for the laugh- I am prone to get lost behind my camera, and then all of of sudden a noise or small movement will bring me back to the real world. I can imagine how many times others may have thought I was a little "touched", especially when I am aiming at some little spot on a rock, or a bug on a trash can.

  3. You just never know when something will appear to spark a memory, do you? I definitely would bit have expected that at a farm auction!

  4. Buttons...the Pin Ball Wizard! Who knew? I'm so glad you had warm memories on this chilly morning. *HUGS*

  5. I bet you still have mad pinball skills!

  6. Memories! Where would we be without them?
    I love the third shot!!

  7. Would have been so fun to see the reactions of the farmers in their work boots had you been able to get that machine going and show off you skills.
    Great Story B.

  8. What a wonderful memory for you. Not exactly something you would expect to see at a farm auction.

  9. I cant stop reading this blog, the things you had to go through in your life to get your farm up and going was sadding. I wish i could of helped you out on the farm when you were in need. It was so nice to get to talk to you at the auction, I will look for you the next auction we go to lots of hugs. J

  10. Oh, and how time FLEW BY after you put that quarter in there and started play.

  11. i hope you bought it ;)))

    we need to deversify!!

  12. Wonderful and memorable. You just never know where and when something magical can happen.

    Not exactly a Readers Digest moment, but close. :)

  13. What a sweet surprise! I bet that was nice to relive those memories.

    So funny what you said about photography being a sport. Yesterday my legs were so sore and I couldn't figure out why. Then I remembered the day before I took a lot of pictures while crouching down and using my legs a lot. Kind of sad!

  14. What a find! I spent hours playing those, too, but I was never able to stretch a coin out as long as you could! Hope you get to bring one home one of these days.

  15. must have been a great surprise :) and the memories that came along are priceless. one hour playing with the same coin!! you definitely got skills ;) xxo

  16. You're a Pinball Wizard! How cool! My parents would never fork over quarters for such things and I would have already spent mine on bubble gum and licorice. I think my parents knew eye-hand coordination wasn't in my genes.

  17. The day was meant for you...To find Happiness & Joy ...You needed to relax..and find Pleasure...:)

  18. dang - if i was there youre darn tootin' I would have found an extension cord and bribed someone out of only ONE quarter to put you to the test ;) imagine all the bidders cheering you on, making that machine famous in its field!!!

    but really, the real question is...have you you ever tilt? *imagining buttons as a little squirt of a tomgirl trying all her best to bump the machine with every body part she can muster without falling off the stool...* :D

    And as always love your photography but most of all love your writing!!! irony is not lost on moi! "I think to myself what is it about farmers and this obsession with the weather at the same time wondering when the sun was going to warm the air and if those clouds far off in the distance meant rain..." LOL

  19. Thanks for sharing this great memory with us, Miss Buttons!! Sounds like you were quite the Pinball Queen :)


  20. I wish I could see you play pinball :)
    It's always nice to relive happy memories.
    Big hugs

  21. I love farms.
    Quarry Lanes being my fave.
    I also love Smith - Jones- Cass - and Del Monte.
    They ship tons of stuff to Nice.
    We meet at Dragon Bar with Labadgil- Tuloosletrec.
    Not to forget Rusty Mason - Billy Gunn- Chesslaress.
    All in all, it'sma Disco Punk at Rica Villa which includes Ricky Berlin.

  22. That was a quite unusual find at a farm machinery auction! Glad you were able to relive a bit of your pinball prowess! :)

  23. I'll send you the quarter....AND the extension cord! ;)



  24. She's a pin ball wizard, she sure plays a mean pin ball!!! Great story did you buy it?


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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