Our Rural Roots

Say Hello to Rita

Rita the Hay Rake (Progressive Farmer image by Meredith Bernard)

My good friend Rita has only been in my life for a few short years, and I don't know how I ever lived without her. She works hard to save me time and energy, she hangs out with me at a moment's notice, and she doesn't even mind when I push her buttons. In my book, those are the best kind of friends.

Oh, by the way ... Rita is not a person. Rita is my hay rake. For some reason, giving names to vehicles and equipment is something I find great joy in. After all, it's the little things in life that make life sweet.

I named my first car "Cowboy," because everyone knows a 1986 burgundy Honda Accord oozes that cowboy flair. (I'm kidding. I was 16. I thought cowboys were great, and I still do. I married one.)

I like to think I've gotten better with my naming skills, though. We have "Gertie the Gleaner," "Big Red" the dump truck, "Woodrow the Weather Station" and "Little D" the two-corn picker that got that name because well ... it is a little dinosaur compared to the big harvesting units most farmers use today.

The only piece of equipment I haven't named yet is my John Deere 4440, but I'll settle on something soon enough. Sometimes, you have to let the personalities reveal themselves. I prefer using alliteration, so maybe "Jane Doe," although a lot of people are rooting for "Margo" because she pulls around Rita. "Hay" y'all -- that's "punny."

In a lifestyle that can be seriously serious, tiring and trying, I figure the least we can do is have fun naming the implements we depend on. The way I see it, they're as much a part of the family and farm as our children (and dogs, but I'll save that for next time).

> Blogger Meredith Bernard writes, takes photographs and names her agricultural implements from her North Carolina family farm. Follow her on Twitter @thisfarmwife, and visit her website at thisfarmwife.com.

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