We saw the dark clouds forming
In the distance moving fast.
They hauled a few more loads of manure,
Dumped the hay, Peter’s truck was last.

Clouds were getting darker,
There was no way around it;
We were definitely in the direct path.
This storm is on the way-we were getting hit

‘Batten down the hatches!’
‘All hands on deck!’
The Pirate crew (our chopping men) was ready
With wind and the rain-plastic covering could be a wreck.

When who should arrive on the scene?
But our poop hauling team.
They grabbed plastic and held tight;
This storm was going to get wild and mean

Rushed the kids to the parlor,
Cora in her stroller blew across the bunker floor.
Ira, Dane, and Henry want to help,
But this isn’t kid safe anymore.
Holding corners, layering plastic proved a challenge,
As it whipped like sails on a pirate ship,
Snapping and swallowing bodies,
The wind was strong-it was hard to keep a grip.

Lightning was flashing,
Hailstones were pelting.
Above the roar of the storm,
Instructions Peter was belting.

After three days of dripping sweat
We dare not complain
As we all started to shiver
From our impromptu showers in the rain.

The skid steer was moved to be a weight
And tires were thrown with such speed.
The crew of us laughing in spite of it all
Rain when hay is off-exactly what farmers need.

There was something special about our motley crew;
Guys in their 20s to our 70-plus bandana-clad packer,
Each and every one of us soaked to our skivvies,
Not a one could be called a slacker.

“Teamwork makes the dream work,”
Peter says with a grin.
The fact that everyone stayed to help was great;
Time for the thank-yous to begin.

Celebratory beverages made their rounds
As we huddled in the sheds-a dry hideout.
As a wise man said,
We “wet the inside as well as the out.”

The clothes on the line were on their second rinse,
But not a bit of hay got wet.
That – and the help of good people –
Is as good as you can get.

    Jacqui and her family milk 800 cows and run 1,200 acres of crops in the northeastern corner of Vernon County, Wis. Her children, Ira (11), Dane (9), Henry (4) and Cora (adventurous crawler), help her on the farm while her husband, Keith, works on a grain farm. If she’s not in the barn, she’s probably in the kitchen, trailing after little ones, or sharing her passion of reading with someone. Her life is best described as organized chaos – and if it wasn’t, she’d be bored.