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The Tractor

When I look back to my childhood as I remember it – 1945 to 1960 – it must be understood that perhaps everything did not go as it did at home, but other villages and parishes customers do things differently. As I mentioned, we didn't buy a tractor until the late 60s and since Dad (Lars) didn't have a driver's license (which was required to drive a motor vehicle on public roads - it so happened that as soon as we reached driver's license age, we boys became the ones who drove the tractor. Dad, Henrik and I drove to Hudiksvall to look at a suitable tractor at an affordable price. A two-bladed plow was included in the price, we found the place and settled and decided that Henrik and Dad took the car and drove ahead for to stop at a suitable place for a little picnic in the green and then I would arrive and join the party. Now dad and Henrik drove over Hybo while I took the Kalvstigen with tractor and plow (which had a tendency to fall down a bit from time to time and need to be adjusted).Well, as dad said "there was no pick or nod on that trip". The tractor had a front lift so it was very suitable for pulling up bushes and such from ditch edges.

Eventually Dad got a little bolder and maybe a little desperate when we boys joined the military or got work elsewhere. He received some instructions from my younger brother and then you saw him on the tractor out on various adventures. He had a little difficulty with the controls and it often became a four-wheel drive with the harrow out in the fields. On one occasion, dad and the neighbor Lassa-Olle had picked up a load of hay from Hellberg in front of the community, and dad gallantly and happily drove the load home, until Lassa-Olle pointed out that "there's been a police car behind us for a while". Dad naturally got a little nervous and dashed off into the kitchen when they got home. The police car pulls into the yard and a uniformed person gets out and asks "do you have a cup of coffee Kåra-Lars". It was Set Ivan Julin, an old childhood friend who had become a policeman in the district and of course wanted to have a little fight with an old comrade.
Mechanical agricultural implements such as mowers, hay turners, balers, self-binders, and combine harvesters meant that, little by little, less and less workers were needed for mowing and harvesting.

The innovation of the last 30 years regarding how to carry out the necessary work steps in a simpler and less manpower-dependent way has had a disadvantage - the work on a farm can (and perhaps must for economic reasons) be handled by a single person, the farmer himself. Labor wages and unions have had an impact. Isolation and financial worries become part of his day, since every machine that eliminates two or more workers has a price tag that must be paid. I think the isolation and loneliness is the worst. The idyllic image of a farming family with a number of able-bodied children sitting on a blanket at the edge of the field with freshly hung haystacks in the background, enjoying their afternoon coffee, is today a period that has long since ended.

Kåra Lars-Erik