The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...or is it?
What is your most dreaded yearly chore? Spring cleaning? Canning? Snow plowing, maybe? Well it is that time of year again, the time of year that my least favorite chore rolls around...haying. The dreaded task of haying, where you have to rely on equipment that is only used a few weeks out of the year, where you watch the weather like a hawk and take a gamble on it every day and when the strangest things can go wrong and mess with the whole day.
I grew up with my dad haying and so did Randy. Randy was out in the fields at 14 hauling hay, swathing hay, and baling hay...neither of us thought we would be doing it again, but here we are with our little herd of cattle and needing several ton of hay a year to keep them happy. So we spent the Spring looking for hay equipment and found ourselves a nice Ford 5000 Row Crop tractor, a New Holland square baler and a John Deere Disc Bine. And we found ourselves a few fields to cut in addition to our field.
There is a rule of thumb in North Idaho...don't start haying until after the 4th of July. The weather is just too unsettled until after then and this year has been particularly wet. So here we are a day after the 4th of July and moving our tractor to the fields we have committed to. Should be quick and simple, no big deal, right? Wrong...it's haying season and the strangest things mess with the whole day... Randy got up early the other morning ready to drive the tractor the 20 miles or so down the highway, but quickly had to turn around and come back because a tire was out of balance. Two hours of working on it later and he and his dad head to town to rent a trailer. Simple fix, right? Let's load it up, get it down there and move on with the day...not so fast...the trailer was too narrow for the wide wheels of the tractor. Back to town we go, third time is the charm in this case. Got the tractor loaded and down to my dad's house. Phew...that was a long morning! But what can you do, but keep plugging along and laughing it off?
All in all, it was a successful day. The tractor got where it needed to be and we got the field on our property cut. And bonus...it was way thicker that we expected! If farming and ranching has anything to teach us, it is patience. It is the total and complete opposite of this world of instant gratification that we live in. And really, that is what we are seeking with this lifestyle and it is what we are seeking to teach our children. So really, I guess maybe I shouldn't dread this chore so much and look for the lessons it can teach us and our kids. But I'll keep you posted on all the fun adventures and lessons the next two weeks holds for us.