September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
We did end a few of the larger projects on time this week. We were able to clear a couple of alfalfa fields for feed with the help of a former dairy farmer neighbor. The hay was drying as quickly as the storm clouds were assembling in the western sky. We needed to move if we were going to get this project done on time. Then it hit us. The kids have grown up. The older ones have their own jobs/internships and were not around to help. Austin was tied up finishing a FFA project at school and wouldn't be back till later. We needed just one extra person to keep things moving between chopping and milking chores. Suddenly, I remembered Dan saying if we ever needed any help driving tractors, he would be glad to help us out. Mark didn't want to bother him, but he was desperate. He gave Dan a quick call. Sure, he could come to help later in the afternoon. He was just out visiting his neighbors. Since there has been so much rain in their area, many farmers are just waiting for things to dry out before they can finish planting, let alone start cutting hay.
We really needed to get this hay chopped as soon as possible. We have been scraping the bottom of the silo these past few days trying to stretch out the haylage until we could get out in the fields between rain systems. Each night, the weather forecasts were calling for some type of showers every other day. It seemed they couldn't string together a couple of good drying days. Then a break occurred...the week of Austin's graduation party, just when I needed to be getting things done for that event. It always seems that when you have planned all the things you need to get done in your head, something pops up and your plans come crashing down. All you can do is take a deep breath and start rearranging your plans between chores and chopper boxes.
We ran until the sun went down on Tuesday night and the lights shorted out on the chopper tractor. For a couple of hours, Mark and Dan squeezed behind the tractor seat with flashlights and the operator's manual trying to figure out which fuse controlled the flood lights on the tractor. I gave up waiting on them to get things working. I still had a couple of pans of bars I needed to bake back at home. I don't know if they ever got the tractor fixed or just happen to bang on the right spot to bring the tractor back to life but by the next morning we were back out in the fields to finish the job. The last chopper box pulled into the yard just as the clouds started to leak and a cool front blew across the area. At least there was now enough feed in the silo until we could head back out to the fields to finish the rest of the harvest.
The next big project to tackle was our last graduation party. This is when I realize all the kids had grown up and moved on to jobs and internships. Who was going to help me get everything ready? Austin had his own list of his jobs to complete for the party without any help. His priority was a final graduation mud pit party. With all the rain, he thought it would be very ironic if he couldn't have a mud pit because it was too muddy. Eventually he was able to get things cleaned out and restocked with fresh dirt/mud. The mud pit would be ready in time. I didn't know if I would be so fortunate.
Just when you think things can't work out and you'll never be done, the cavalry arrives in the nick of time. Mom and Dad pulled in Thursday evening. When life is at its craziest, just having your parents around seems to make you feel like everything will work out. Then, the biggest surprise arrived Friday night. Two college girlfriends road tripped to Minnesota to see what was going on and to help get things ready for our last high school graduation party. We haven't been together for 30 years but you couldn't tell by the way we acted. We picked up right where we left off from our last conversations. We laughed and reminisced as we paged through my college scrapbooks between jobs. Things were coming together. I had a better feeling about being done in time. On Saturday, area friends started dropping off bars and roasting pans. By that night, all the kids and extra kids were home. It was a house full of laughter, stories, pranks and love. It didn't matter how the party turned out the next day. It was already a great moment watching my family and friends hang out together.
By Sunday, the skies had cleared, the humidity dropped and we were in store for a great day. We were able to get all the jobs done and then step back to enjoy the day with friends and neighbors from all over. Another job done on time.
Of course you know, when you finish one job at least three more pop up. Since Jonathon isn't living here right now, he can't wait to jump into the tractor seat and take off for the fields when he is back home. While we enjoyed the party, he put down three more fields of alfalfa before he headed back to Glenwood for his job. Just when we think we aren't getting anything done, a little break and great friends come our way to remind us things will work out and the jobs will get done when they get done.[[In-content Ad]]
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