Adventures in Haying: day 1

There are certain milestones you look forward to. Turning 16 and getting your license. Your first car. Graduating high school. Moving into your first apartment. College. Getting a “grown up” job and fitting in to the “real world.” Buying your first new car. Paying off student loans. First two-week vacation, somewhere foreign. Etc. 

Yesterday I experienced another milestone. It’s all my responsibility: all the mowing, all the raking, all the equipment. I’ve been slowly taking over, but The Old Man has always been available to back me up if I get in over my head. Now, at 80, he’s mobile only with a walker. Getting to the field, lifting, pushing, wrestling parts is beyond his capacity this year. 

So, chalk up another notch on my Grown Up belt. I successfully navigated getting started and finishing day one in the hay field.  

    I learned a few important things:

    • Something will inevitably happen (read, go wrong) and it’s never similar to what went wrong last year
    • Tears of frustra–er, fierce determination won’t budge the dead weight of a several hundred pound piece of equipment
    • Taking a breather and thinking about how the hydraulics function is much more effective 
    • You can stretch some interesting body parts when you try to shift several hundred pounds of equipment dead weight
    • A vice grip is a pretty useful tool 
    • WD40 is one of the most important tools in the shop
    • It pays to hang on to old tractor parts

    Also, it’s smart to have friends who know stuff you don’t, and can do stuff you can’t. Like weld. (Thanks, Poppy, for the help.) And I’m significantly better with triangle corners than square ones. 


    Day 1 live critter count:

    • 1 bunny
    • 14 voles (although 1 might’ve been a dupe)
    • 1 garter snake

    I’m glad the bunny is still around. Although I’d much prefer more snakes and significantly fewer voles. 

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