Memory of an Old Tractor

Memory of an Old Tractor

I find it increasingly interesting how my memory works – especially so when it fails me. With my humungous computer archive (4TBs and counting), I obviously have the advantage of being able to recollect by looking through my images, videos and rereading articles I’ve penned.

I wonder if a day will come when I don’t recognize photos I’ve taken, videos I’ve shot or stories I have written.  Probably.

In an entirely different part of my memory, I recently find myself making these really interesting associations. Like for example, this old tractor we came across during our bike ride in rural Kos the other day.

As soon as I saw it parked on the edge of the field, I felt compelled to get off my bike and photograph it. But why? Perhaps because my maternal grandfather Eskil had a similar tractor back in the 1970s. I know I rode in the cabin with him a few times. And he might even have let me steer it, too. Don’t remember that level of detail, though. Heck, I don’t even recall what type of stuff he grew on the fields outside of Trollhättan. Wheat? Probably.

I wonder what a loaf of bread tasted like back then. Would it be more flavorful, healthier to eat and would the methods for growing the grain be better for the planet than what’s used today? Everything seemed less sinister in the 1960s and 1970s. Maybe I’m just naive. Probably.

My maternal grandmother, Eskil’s wife Agnes (which prepensely is Elle’s middle name) used to make a fluffy, yet wonderfully chewy flatbread that when eaten straight out of the oven and topped with home-churned butter and a generously thick slice of creamy cheese, put me in a state of calm that I’ve since never experienced.

Some mornings when I stayed with Agnes and Eskil, breakfast would consist of a slice of grandma’s delicious bread and a large cup of really sweet hot chocolate. I remember exactly where I sat at the small kitchen table with its wax tablecloth and window overlooking the road to the barn. To my left was grandpa, holding up the local paper and mumbling now and again about something he had just read. Rarely did Agnes take a load off and sit with me for breakfast.

There seemed to always be a ton of stuff to do in the kitchen, around the house or on the farm. Like making sure gramps had his lunch with him before he took the tractor parked out back and headed out in to the fields.

More photos from Bodrum and Kos are now available here.