Contemplating Farm Life

After dad stopped milking cows on the farm back in 2003, he had yearly summer angst about who and how would the fields would get mowed. Dad didn’t have the strength or equipment to deal with the massive job of making hay after the cows were gone, but he wanted to maintain the integrity of the fields that he and his daughters/wife/parents/grandparents/great-grandparents had consecrated every spring and summer with their blood and sweat and (occasionally) tears.

When one is managing a hay field, there is a delicate balance between “ready” and “gone to seed”. Post-retirement, beginning in late June, dad would keep watch on the fields as they turned to “ripe” – that delicate stage just before “gone to see”. He dreaded seeing the fields go to waste.

So he’d keep his vigil, watching and listening, despairing to see the big equipment used by the hay lessees to roll onto the fields.

To a dairy farmer, there is no better sight that a field of hay that has been cleared and neatly stored for the winter. He longed for that sight every year.

Earlier this week I spent the night at the farm, hoping to catch a breeze amidst this terrible heat. Here’s what the hay fields looked like early the next morning as the sun began to rise.

Today the heavy equipment arrived and the haying has commenced. Dad would be so happy.

I remember last year when Dad, Mom and I sat on the front porch and watched the choppers work. Dad and I split a beer and enjoyed the show.

This is so hard.

Cindy and I are working on some new quilt projects and proposals. I hope we can show them to you soon.

3 thoughts on “Contemplating Farm Life

  1. Diane Muldoon says:

    My husband was from Ireland…I remember visiting with him…when all of a sudden all plans for the day were off because rain was expected….as usual…and the hay had to be brought in…TBTG learning to drive, I learned on a stick shift….so I…newly married, had to drive the tractor…Intensity was in the air…I did not understand it one bit. The hay was done, the tea was poured and cards were dealt by the summer fireplace in the country kitchen. That was 40 y ears ago and I will never forget it. We now would have been married 40 years, but my dear man died four years ago of ALS…Pure torture…sending you love and thanks for this post.

  2. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Sandy and Cindy! Awwwwww. {{Hugs}} I know just what you mean about that delicate balance between just perfect and gone to seed. My dad grew up on a farm and married a ‘city’ girl. He didn’t farm himself then . . . although they did spend a lot of time helping out on the farm. As a city child we always had a garden, and he and I would check out the ‘back 40 acres’ every night to water and pick weeds. I still check out the back 40 at my own quarter acre city lot! Dad’s smiling down – I know he is. He’s happy not only that the hay isn’t going to waste but that he taught you well to enjoy that fact. The whole waste not, want not thing comes to mind. Anyone who has lived through the Depression or a War will know rationing all too well. {{Hugs}} again, and pass one on to your mom please! ~smile~ Roseanne

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