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July 13, 2017: Beyond the Hay Days

Got a call a few days ago from John DePriest, our hay dealer. He said that he would be cutting today and asked if we wanted to get some hay off the field. We said yes because the hay in the barn would cost us $12.00 and this would cost us $11.00.

The day before yesterday, yesterday, and today dawned clear. We figured that John had done well in the window of time between rain storms. We figured wrong. We got to the field where he was baling. There were a handful of people loading up. We checked the nearest cluster of bales – it was a timothy/grass mix, and dry, very dry. A woman came over to where John had stopped his tractor, he got off, took

his moisture meter, stuck it in a twist of hay and told her it was eight percent moisture. That’s low, very low.

John climbed back into his tractor and looked ahead with a set jaw. We turned and saw what he saw – the sky at the distance was solid gray. And the storm was moving closer. I had forgotten to bring tarps.

Pete and I hustled – He at first tossed the bales to me and I stacked them. Then he got on the trailer wagon and I handed the bales to him. Pretty soon we had a load. The storm was moving closer. It seemed to take Pete forever to get the ropes in place. I wasn’t much of a help because I never remember from one year to the next how to tie the correct knots. I felt raindrops seconds before we left the hayfield. Yes, our hay did get rained upon on the way home. Once home, we put tarps on the hay on the trailer.

For us, some rain on the top layer of hay and on the sides really isn’t any big deal. It will dry. And if it rains tomorrow we’ll keep the tarps in place. If the sun shine shines we’ll remove the top layer and set the bales in the sun to dry.

I seldom feel bad for others. This is one of my greatest weaknesses as an adult. I am a very self-centered individual. I pretend to empathize with others, but it is pretty much a ruse. But then and now I felt/feel bad for John. He is a genuinely great guy and he is not out to undercut anyone. He really loves to farm and really loves his customers. And so, the rain falling on his freshly cut hay seemed/seems to me to be one of life’s greatest unfairnesses. As I told Pete (and I meant it) if I could do anything in the world to help him out, I would. But there was nothing I could do. Pete, always a very practical guy, was thinking that perhaps in the future that John could buy a whole bunch of small tarps and throw them over the clusters. As I pointed out, the problem was that the wind might blow them off the bales.

Well we have enough hay now to last us quite a while – 163 bales. I suspect that in September we’ll get some more. I’m glad of course to have what we now have on hand.

Next: 191. 7/14/17: Bones for Life/Life for Bones

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