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