Making Hay While the Sun Shines
For weeks we had been planning to cut hay from our middle paddock. The grass was thick and good but the weather never seemed to be in a cooperative mood. We waited and waited but still it rained and rained and planned to rain. So finally we put our foot down so to speak and sent an email out asking everyone to pray. Almost immediatly the forecast changed and there was a week of predicted sunniness. Praise the Lord! As the days went by and the grass was mown and raked, the happy predictions held out longer and longer. Finally Sunday dawned bright and clear but there was still one hold up. The dew was thick and the grass was damp so we had to wait until the sun hit the grass and dried it out. Then, Rod got on the rake and began turning the grass while Noel drove the baler and the rest of us followed behind with the big hay trailer on Noel’s ute. For the rest of the day, we layboured on, “brining in the sheaves”. Once we had the trailer piled up high for the first time, we all climbed in the back of the ute and headed up the hill to where we would make the haystack. As the first bales were laid, it didn’t look anything like a hay stack, it just looked like a few hay bales laid neatly on an old road but as the hours and days passed, the stack grew up and up and out and out until by Tuesday evening it formed a massive landmark on the hill.
The days were not without their trials however. The baler was playing up for most of the time, creating loose bales that fell apart wastefully and one tractor broke down while the other acquired a flat tire. Once, we were on our way up to the haystack with a very big load, bigger then all the others we had done. The towbar was very low, so low that it scraped the road all the way down the hill. As we reached the bottom and turned a sharp corner we heard a louder scraping noise and the trailer stopped while we kept going. It had come completely off, thankfully not breaking anything but the sudden stop caused Tom, who was sitting on the very top of the hay to come half jumping, half falling off, landing and rolling on the gravel road. “I’m alright.” He said shakily, but stumbled to the side where Russell and Daniele took care of him and ended up carrying him home with a badly sprained ankle and a big chunk of flesh out of his knee. Alex and Dave busied themselves with getting the heavy trailer back onto the ute. Alex backed the Massey up and, nudging the trailer with the towbar, lifted it up enough so that Dave could back the ute up underneath. And so, without wasteing too much time, we were back in action again. Tuesday morning came. The baleing was over and there were just 600 bales left in the paddock. Noel needed his trailer by around 11am to do another person’s paddocks and we still had allot of loads to make so it was all hands on deck straight after breaky. We all worked hard, kids and adults alike, to get that hay dumped up the top, reasoning that if we at least got it up there with the trailer, then we could stack it when Noel needed it. We got it all done, with a bit of time to spare, thanks to Noel running a bit late and allot of hard work and strength from God.
Monday, Dad had gone to town and was to pick up a massive, 20 something metre long tarp from the post office that had been ordered especially for this haystack. When he got there, it was no where to be found. This ensued a flurry of phone calls for Alex and prayers from the rest of us. Sometime on Tuesday afternoon it turned up, much to the relief of all involved. Wednesday, most of the day was spent by the guys getting the tarp spread out over the stack and tied down. It took longer then it should have because there was a bit of a breeze and this made the tarp act like a sail but finally it was done and they came home, satisfied. Our muscles ached and we were dead tired by then end of the day but it’s done. The hay is in and protected from the weather. Thanks be to God for providing us with the sunny days and warm weather, for the strength he gave us all in order to be able to get it in and for Noel’s help, generosity and good spirit. We ended up getting approx 1,550 bales from the paddock and hopefully that should generate a bit of a profit for Eastward but I think one of the most valuable things we gained from our haying experience was a deeper relationship with each other and another boost to our faith in our Father.