Monday, September 3, 2007

I wish the baler would break

In all my years of farm life, I have discovered a love-hate relationship with baling hay. Everytime my father would say the magic words, "we're going to bale hay this weekend," my immediate reaction, was "Nooooo!!" In all reality, it's not a terrible chore, it's just draining . Once you get started, it's easy to continue on...until hay load numbers 10, 11, 12, etc. come rolling in the yard. Sometimes it seems never-ending. You find yourself wishing God would just bring on a mysterious thunderstorm, or even worse, that the baler would break. Most days it was too ridiculously hot to be doing anything, yet there we were, out in the sun, putting bale after bale on the elevator and watching them head into the barn. I was always lucky enough to be on the wagon unloading the bales, until I took my most recent post on the tractor running the baler. I'll never want the post in the barn. Fortunately, that's usually where the "men" go. I've only had to stand-in for the barn post once, and I'm hoping I never have to do it again.

Yet, while I speak poorly of baling hay, I really do appreciate all the labor that goes into it. It's a labor of love really. If we wouldn't bale the hay, and stack it in the barn, my father would have little to feed his animals with during the winter months. And, baling hay has given my family and me plenty of memories and things to talk about. In fact, one of my favorite farm activities was creating "avalanches" of the bales on the wagon as we unloaded them. Basically, we would try to pull bales from the bottom so that those above us would collapse in a hay bale avalanche. Sure, sometimes we would get hit by a bale on the back, in the head, or just on the leg...but mostly it was pure excitement to run away from it!

Even though we ended up with calluses on our hands, sore muscles, and the occasional sun burn, the end result was all worth it. Not only would my dad's animals get to eat, but my dad was happy and appreciative of all of our help, and we got to enjoy our beloved Pepsi Floats! Delicious.

My happy and appreciative father after a long day of baling hay!


Anonymous said...

You have the easiest job of all Becky, you just sit in the tractor and watch the bales go flying out of the baler and into the wagon. Now you even get to sit in air conditioned comfort so I have no idea what you are complaining about. You should be in the barn where I am, sweating away stacking the bales in perfect rows and columns. Until you work in the barn all day in the you will never know the true meaning of baling hay.

Brian said...

Agreed :)

Brian said...

PS. I don't know who anonymous is, but I am the master in the barn, so back down.