Everyone in middle Tennessee has been cutting hay in the last week and we were no exception. Jason and I put the first bales of hay in our new hay barn on Friday and there currently about a hundred 5′ x 5′ bales in the barn. Hopefully we will be putting up the rest of this cutting in the hay barn tomorrow.
My job is to drive the hay wagon. I drive around the hay fields from bale to bale while Jason loads them on the wagon with the tractor. Then we have to make our way back to the hay barn and unload the bales. We repeat this process over and over. I’m really good at lining up the wagon in just the right spot so Jason doesn’t have to do much maneuvering with the tractor to load the bales. I’m good at driving through any rough or sloped patches of ground without shifting or losing any of the bales.
There are only two skills that I really need to work on in order to be considered a truly superior hay wagon driver. My backing skills definitely need tweaking. I get the job done, and I usually get it done without any hitches. Jason likes to point out that I’m slow when backing the trailer. I inch my way back slowly, constantly checking in the mirrors to make sure everything is headed in the right direction. Jason on the other hand would just get in the truck, put it in reverse and slam his foot down on the gas, sparing a random backwards glance to verify that everything is where it should be. I fear he wouldn’t like the results if I took that approach. But maybe I’ll try it tomorrow and see what he thinks. Hey, you only live once.
I am also a total flunkie when it comes to dealing with the ratchet straps. After we have a full load on the wagon we put a strap over the back bales to keep them in place while driving back to the hay barn. Everything about these stupid straps drives me crazy. I can’t ever figure out which direction to thread the strap so you can tighten it. I never get this right. Even more embarrassing is that I cannot undo the strap. I pull, squeeze, jiggle, plead, curse – I try everything I can think of – and I can’t get the ratchet to release so I can remove the strap. Every. single. load. Jason had to get off the tractor and undo the ratchet because I can never release it.
As we were unloading the 9th load Jason gets off the tractor to undo the ratchet. He lets out a huge sigh as he comes walking over. I’m sure it is an almost unbearable burden to be married to someone who struggles with ratchet straps. Jason says to me, “you are such a girl sometimes.” I had so many comebacks to that statement it was hard to pick just one. So I settled for something along the line of “WTF is your point?”
For once Jason seemed to realize he was right in the middle of the open mouth, insert foot process. I will confess that he rarely seems to realize when this is happening despite me doing everything but hold up a sign that says “SHUT UP NOW FOR YOUR OWN SAKE.” For once he seemed to realize he was about to say something really stupid and be without a hay wagon driver, and it was a very refreshing change. The voices in his head must have started yelling “danger, danger, danger” in response to my tone of voice and he immediately started trying to retreat, telling me how great we had been working together and what a fantastic hay wagon driver I was. I very ungraciously told him to just take the stupid strap off so we could carry on.
Aside from our brief moment of discord we enjoyed working together all day as we started filling up the hay barn. The plan is to finish baling and moving hay tomorrow. Maybe I’ll throw the truck in reverse and slam my foot down on the gas and see how that goes. Time to live dangerously. Maybe I’ll conquer the ratchet strap. The former might happen but I’m thinking there is little hope for the latter.
I hope everyone had a great weekend!
heading out on their daily exploring mission; Winston, Faune, Gus, Asterik, George and Silver . . .
. . . followed by Fonzi, Chimano and Romeo
Taken a few hours later as they came back from their exploring mission; George, Asterik, Chimano and Romeo
Asterik and Johnny playing over the fence
Rocky and Tiny