Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Summer in full swing

It is with great relief and a fist full of benadryl, that I announce "the first cutting is in the barn!" Yee ha--what a summer it has already been.

You may remember that last summer, the very kind firefighter around the corner, GAVE me his 3 acre field of grass/alfalfa hay. It was my first time to be master of my own destiny and what a lot did I learn! I learned head knowledge about hay and made contacts. I learned to be obsessed with the weather forecast and then to not trust anything I heard. I learned that no matter how well my plans were laid, I really had no control over anything. And I learned not to cry, because trusting the Lord is much more rewarding, even in matters of animal fodder.

So this year, I have that same field and I called my "Hay Guy" from last year. He was glad to hear from me and tipped me off that he would be fishing in Canada the first week of June. I could/should call him whenever I thought the weather was ripe for cutting...dum dum dum...heavy hangs the head that wears the hay crown.

Now last year, the month of June was NINE INCHES over for precipitation. Last year I didn't get the hay cut until JULY 3--AND THEN IT RAINED ON CUT HAY FOR TWELVE HOURS on the fourth of July. Do you see the ulcers forming in my duodenum? I get a twitch over my eye just typing "rain on hay for twelve hours". I prayed for a new learning experience this year...learned the whole rain lesson, Lord, TYVM.

So this year, I called the Hay Guy the Sunday, a week before Memorial Day and by golly, we got her done! And the absolute most wonderful thing happened to me--I got to drive the tractor with the baler attached. It was one of the highlights of my life--I know I could not stop smiling. I almost cried. I will never forget how wonderful it was. There was just something about the perfect weather, bright sunshine, the great smell of the hay and the process that just charmed me.

And then, Handyman actually got off work at a reasonable hour and he showed up at the field while I was driving the tractor. Could it get better?? There was a small crimp in the happiness when Handyman tried to back the hay wagon up to our barn. You may be nodding your head right now, thinking "You CANNOT back a hay wagon." And you'd be right in saying just that.

I was in the hayloft at that time, sweeping vigorously in order to keep my lips together. #1 was down below, yelling directions at her father, and then yelling up at me to call my neighbor to come over to back the wagon FOR her father. I explained to her that I would do no such thing and that she should keep her lips zipped.

45 minutes later, we settled for having the haywagon in the same field as the barn and cursed our complete lack of foresight in how we laid this whole place out. It is completely unhandy, in every possible way--But it looks nice from the driveway. Fortunately we had hired two teenage boys to loft the bales from the trailer across the three-foot gap to the barn loft door. We kept the teenage girls in the loft, catching the bales.

No elevator this time--Handyman thinks elevators are for wimps--okay, not really. But we were in a hurry, what with all that time spent trying to back towards the barn, from the north, from the west and then the north again. The rain has been pretty frequent since then and I see lots of hay still in fields all around here, almost falling over.

And I'm SO completely thankful to have my first cutting successfully put up! I'm looking forward to getting at least one more cutting and HOPING I get to drive the baler again. I'd be willing to pay more just for the chance to do it. Call me crazy!