It is upon us. Well… it was supposed to be upon us a month ago, but here we are, sweating ourselves into a ten pound weight loss and making kegs of lactic acid to squeeze so good out of our muscles. It is hay season, folks! That time of year that is blurrier then the first night home with a newborn. That time of year when your bones set you on your knees to beg for mercy. Unless you buy it, the work has to be done, five to ten acres at a time. A thousand square bales of insanity!
It would have been over by now if not for Mother Nature and her ever shifting hormones. First, it was good, cool and peaceful. Then it was rainy as a car wash, and then the soil was too wet to attempt to walk your haybine over. A month later than usual, we are chopping down stalky crap that went to seed and crossing our fingers for good nutritional value; which I’m sure everyone in the Midwest has done. Ten plus dollars a bale, you bet I worked myself into stasis to get them fed.
I’ve been doing this for years now. We try to pack our barn full enough for winter and next spring, which means we are stuffing about 1100 bales of hay all the way into the rafters. The trusses enjoy smacking you upside the head and the roofing nails love trying to give you Tetanus if you forget their presence. I’m up to date, I hope you are, too! Glancing at your arms, one might think you were involved in one heck of a brawl. Or at the very least, had a craptastic allergic reaction to something.
If you were out raking the hay, like me this year, (my mom usually does this, bless her, she was stuck with my three crotch goblins this year) you better not forget your sunscreen. It is seriously important! Especially if you’re like me and burn to a crisp in a matter of minutes. Well, let me tell you, I forgot to spray my legs before I spent almost two hours raking a seven acre field, and my thighs are crispier than chicken dinner dressed with coleslaw and gravy.
My family got super lucky this year and was able to pay a couple of strong eighteen year olds to help mow this monstrosity. Both of them, Derek and Brett, were exceptional. We could not ask for better, and they were adorably polite! I expected some entitled punks, but got some very sweet youngsters who deserved every penny and then some. Though I was cramming picky hay bales up into the trusses with them, I felt as old as the first washing machine. Fifteen years doesn’t seem like a like, but I might as well be thirty years older with my constant huffing and puffing.
It was ninety degrees that day (yesterday), but the humidity blew it through the rice cooker. It is some kind of unwritten law that says it absolutely must be over ninety to do hay. If it is not, you’re not doing it right and need to grind that crusty old van into gear. I am that crusty old van. You know, one of those early nineties hooptie’s that had the stylish wood trim. As an eighties baby, without consulting Google, I believe I’d be a used Cutlass. Which means that I can plow into anything without getting a scratch!