You make hay, right? At least that is how the old saying goes, though most people probably have no idea what hay even is except for a way to address the other modern dude on the street, let alone how to make the stuff while the sun shines.
I am glad to report that at long last I have risen from the sweaty masses, I have triumphed over the teeming hordes, to emerge a dust-covered, victorious hay-maker.
In short, I had the opportunity today (Saturday 7th) to help the neighbors rake, bale, and store the last two crops from their hay fields. They aren’t very big fields, but I was blessed to be able to help out and that they let me try. Meaning they let me fumble with the tractor and the hay and make a general fool of myself. Well, not really. Surprisingly, (surprising because I am not very smart in such things) I managed to make the tractor go, and stop, and I even got it to bale hay!! Wonder of wonders.
Their tractor is a little old 1950’s tractor but it’s in great condition and did everything I asked of it. First we went out and raked the hay up into long windrows across the field, and I now know what a hay rake looks like, and I also know how those windrows are made. After we got it raked up in (mostly) straight windrows, I drove the tractor back near the barn, and we switched out the rake for the baler and the hay wagon.
Rattled back across the field and started turning those long windrows of sun-smoothed, sweet-smelling summer sustenance into hefty little packages of scratchy winter fodder. Drew (neighbor’s son) drove the rig around the first few times and I stood on the hay wagon, trying to keep my balance, lean out and grab bales as they came off the baler, and stack them all neatly on the hay wagon while endeavoring to look at least a little cool, posh, and sophisticated. You know, like I’d done it all my life. After a bit, we switched and I baled the rest of the field.
After baling the second field, we went in for a drink of water. Which is a useful and comforting thing when one is perusing the art of hay making. We then went out and loaded the hay bales from the second field onto the wagon, since the second field was steep enough that Drew didn’t want to have the wagon on behind the baler in case the bales rolled off the wagon.
And we got done just as the rain started pouring. Haha. Not really. It sprinkled a few drops, and the clouds were closing in, but we got all the bales unloaded in the barn safely and sweatily. After all, isn’t that what always is supposed to happen?? The farmer and farmer’s sons get the last load of hay from the last field on the farm into the barn JUST as the rain and the lightning and the thunder start pouring down upon the parched and thirsty ground. At least that is how you always read it. And they go into the farm house hungry and thirsty, and the farm wife feeds them a bunch of good food.
Well, this hay maker went inside and sure enough there was some good food waiting! Pie and ice cream and I am telling you it was really good! *licks lips* We sat around and talked awhile afterward, and then I went back home after second servings. *guilty look* (at least it was good for me)
So it was pretty much just like hay making was supposed to be; complete with dust, sweat, pieces of hay clinging everywhere, clouds, clankings and the putt-putt-putt of the tractor, AND—don’t forget that pie and ice cream.
If I HAD a “bucket list” then that would be one of the things which has just been crossed off.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!!