He kept looking at his coffee mug with tractors on it; a quote, Nothing Runs Like A Deere. It was an old cup with chips and scrapes on it. Scratches on the bottom.
His father had the complete set; mugs, dishes,bowls, all with the John Deere logo on em; painted white, green, and yellow. His grandfather had the set before. He handed them down.
Grandad used to take the boy for rides on the tractor out in the cornfields. He learned how to shift gears while seated on Grandpa’s lap. The two of em would stay out there riding round for hours in the winter’s light. An empty field with brown stalks severed to the ground. Spring would come soon. That’s when the real work began. Work that the boy would not pursue. He had other ideas.
The boy went on to college to study law. He’d be the first generation not to follow the family pride. Paid for school by working summers on the farm. His father was proud.
And he kept looking at that coffee mug. His father and grandfather were long gone. All he had left of the family was the John Deere set. The plates and silverware took him back each day. Almost like a meditation.
There would be no one to pass them onto. He never married. Never had kids. Lived alone in the city. Generations change. Boy, do they change.