Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Full Up

Eighty-six round bales in the barn, loaded in by Julia and myself as her husband, Andrew, dropped them off one by one at the hay mow door with a skid steer.  It took three trips by Julia's son, Matt, to bring the bales over from the field on the other side of Edmeston.  Somehow Julia got Clinton Tractor to drop off a skid steer to load the bales up in my barn.  Maybe something to do with the brand new $80,000 tractor she bought from them breaking down had something to do with it.  Nevertheless, around midnight Julia and Andrew showed up to get the bales that lined my driveway and barnyard under cover.  Rain was forecast for early morning and surely enough, it came.  The moon was high and provided us with the light we needed to do the work.  It's a good thing as the barnyard light had been blasted off the door of the hay mow a few years back by lightning.  Lukie lost my only working head light and I had not thought of hanging my sheep show booth lights in the mow while waiting for Julia to come back.  She put her phone on a post to provide us with enough light to get three rows going.  When it went out we did it by feeling our way in the dark.  Some of the bales were so heavy that Julia and I, pushing and heaving could not get them going.  Andrew would get out of the skid steer to help us get some momentum.  As exhausted as we were, going on 1 PM, we laughed and chatted about this and that and got to know each other better.  Julie has a dream, like I do, of making a struggling farm succeed.  She is very motivated to buy more cows, sell more milk, make hay for people, and make a future for her family.  Andrew is very supportive of her and their love for each other showed through the night.  They worked far harder for me than their bill showed.  At 1:30 they walked hand and hand down my lane to their truck to go home and get some rest before Andrew set out to work in the morning.  Julia would be up early to start milking.  I had to get ready for bed and last looked at the clock at 2 am.  I slept the happy sleep of a shepherd knowing I had a barn full of hay for hungry animals through the winter.  I  have good people behind me who are eager to help me when I need them.  I would be up at 6 to be on the road at 7 for work.  It was a bit of a hairy day as I'm used to six or seven hours but I was still high on hay fumes.  I almost paused to wonder if it was all a dream.  When I got home from work Matt and Luke were back from their two day trip to Manhattan to tour with Sean and stay with Mia in New Jersey.  Luke and I played our "round bale games" and ran up and down the rows on top of the bales with the dogs.  It was wonderful to see him playing like a farm boy, jumping and leaping across the bales, and climbing up on the balcony above the bales.  I cooked pork chops, white rice and corn for him tonight and he loved it.  Julia stopped by to pick up her money and looked her typical million bucks.  The farm life works for her, too.  Hay is life and the farm is forever.

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