07 November 2011

Hay, Girl!



I've been accused of making some doozies. You can see from this picture that I started young. In my defense, I don't even know when I'm doing it! Of course, sometimes I do know. Ha. Those are the ones I should work on....

I bet that's the way I looked at Brady some many moons ago, when he told me that he, I, and our good friend, Christi, would be loading an entire trailer full of square bales - all by ourselves - in a town far, far away.

And the girl said, "Say what?"

You see, this was the situation: it was several years ago, before we were even engaged or married. The weather was dry and hot and dry, and there was no rain. (Hey...kinda like now!) Brady didn't work at a sale barn at the time, so there was no lovely hook-up for bovine and equine nourishment, so we were on our own when it came to The Hay Hunt.

And I guess I'm feeling it's necessary to write this story, so there's proof somewhere along the line that Katie's mama has a little bit of athleticism and toughness in her.

Obviously, Younger Me finds this really hard to believe.

Frankly, I can't blame her. My life has been punctuated by tripping, falling, dropping, and you get the general disastrous picture.

I've stumbled over my own feet in a parking lot before and had someone ask, "Are you okay?" And I had no idea why they were asking, because I stumble around so much, I don't even know I'm doing it anymore. Kind of like making those faces. I'm sensing a pattern here....

So in any case, there were three of us, and we had a few hours to gather and load hundreds of square bales from acres and acres of pasture to cart home with us. It was definitely intimidating.

Christi drove the truck and trailer, Brady stood on the ground and threw the bales up, and I lived up on the trailer, pulling them off the edge and stacking them. Which meant I gradually got closer and closer to Heaven, as our hay reached about three stories high.

For real.

Okay. Maybe a slight exaggeration. But only slightly.

And now that I think of it, I didn't really display any kind of athletic prowess or agility in contrast to my usual feats of movement. Instead of picturing Some Girl Power Ranger swiftly ascending on the newly loaded bale and whisking it up to the top of the heap with a sure thump to make sure it was secure, picture the same ol', clumsy me...legs slipping down through the bales, leaving me waist-deep in hay...Brady hollering, "You gonna make it?"...hay bales flopping down a level or two without my say-so...me sweating through my shirt...me grunting loud enough to compete with the diesel truck...Christi laughing at me in the side mirror....

So maybe this doesn't really paint the picture I was hoping for, but at least we got it done. We worked way into the dark, a well-oiled and highly sweaty team of hay-gatherers. When we'd gathered everything, we spent a while crawling all over the hay and securing it with belts and straps and rope, testing it and making sure it wouldn't cascade down the side of the trailer with the first turn of the highway.

By the time I climbed in the truck beside Brady to head home, I was exhausted. And full of hay. And sweaty and hungry. And there was hay down my pants, in my shirt, and stuck through my ponytail, but I was really proud of myself. Of all three of us, actually. Even though this is the kind of thing that Brady and Christi do nearly every day of their lives.

I felt so darned useful! I earned my keep that day.

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