My dad has a thing for old tractors.
Adam and my Dad on an old John Deere.
And he also spends quite a bit of time on a message board for old tractors.
And he used to be a tractor mechanic.
And when the implement dealer announced they were closing, and Dad was losing his job, the first thing he did was take the big, black parts manual home.
So, when some Dutch guy started asking questions on a chatboard about restoring an old John Deere, guess who had all the answers? That’s right.
Two years later, Dad was still pecking away with his pointer fingers on the keyboard, trying desperately to learn how to send his buddy Wiecher (pronounced Veeher) pictures of spring planting in Iowa. And Wiecher was packing his bags.
Wiecher and Dad contemplating another tractor problem.
In June, Wiecher, his wife Marion, and friends Peter (another tractor enthusaist) and Gerrie came from Holland to see us! Well, mostly to see the tractors, but to see us, too!
Mom, Marion, Gerrie
They flew into New York, rented an RV, and drove to Iowa via Niagara Falls, Chicago and Minneapolis. A long drive. Then, they parked in my parents yard for a week and toured area farms, visited implement dealerships, and went to the big Two-Cylinder Expo in Waterloo, Iowa.
Peter and Gerrie (Peter likes blue New Holland tractors…we had a hard time getting him on this JD!)
Wiecher and Marion
Although we were all nervous to meet each other at first (Wiecher admitted they were nervous, too) I cannot even describe how well everyone got along. They spoke English well enough to understand my dad’s teasing and jokes, and we were all very at ease around each other. I truly hope we get to visit them someday, too. But it’d be pretty cool if they bought a retirement/vacation home here, too, which they did mention! Wouldn’t that be fun?
Isn’t the internet amazing? Of course, we bloggers know the power of internet friendships, but isn’t it cool that two men in their 50s, half a world away from each other, found each other through a common interest and the World Wide Web?
Very cool, indeed!