One thing I’ve come to expect over the last few years is the unexpected. Cliché, but very true.
Small and fast projects turn into long, drawn-out ordeals that take more money and more effort than originally intended.
But our plan to haul a little over 50 bales of hay from one farm less than 10 miles to a different farm seemed rather full-proof.
Our neighbor and good friend, Timmie, was going to drive his truck and trailer and we (Matt and me) were going to drive another. The task was supposed to last a few hours. At most.
Unfortunately, a last-minute trip to town for me to chase down a lead on pigs for sale made us late. And then Matt’s truck was almost out of gas, which isn’t a big deal in itself, but Matt’s truck has a flaw that makes pumping gas take a LONG time.
We finally arrived at the hay lot almost two hours AFTER our intended start time. But all hope wasn’t lost. Timmie had already hauled two loads and was on his way back for his third. We were soon loaded and headed back with our first load of hay.
When we arrived at the farm we got some unfortunate news. Another neighbor farmer had been following us and noticed a problem with a tire on the hay trailer. He called with the warning.
Even after unloading the hay we were faced with a dilemma: drive the truck and trailer into town to get the tire fixed at the local shop (which would take who knows how long) or borrow a portable air tank from yet another neighbor and see if that will fix the problem. Limited on driving these country roads with such a long trailer meant we had to take our friend’s Ranger to acquire the portable air tank.
At this point I’m dying. Rookie mistake! I had brought along a huge jug or water and was already drowning. So before we could go get the air tank, I convinced Matt to drive me to the house in the Ranger. Our presence in the fun-little vehicle attracted a companion, our dog, Eva, who despite multiple stern warnings to “GO HOME” ran alongside us through the fields and down too many roads until she started to get tired. We loaded her in with us and continued on to get the tank.
When we got there I knew we had made a big mistake allowing Eva to follow us. This neighbor has multiple, ginormous dogs who were none too excited to see a new lady lab in their midst. It was a nightmare! I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a Ranger before but it’s basically just a rugged golf cart for the farm with mesh netting for “doors.” It’s hardly capable of holding animals in OR out.
Too many stressful minutes later, we were on our way back to the truck. Portable air tank and stinky Eva in tow.
Timmie had also arrived with his third load.
He watched while Matt struggled to keep air in the tire.
As soon as it pumped in, an audible hiss was heard at the other side.
This day was just getting better and better.
But Timmie just chuckled.
See, Timmie has lived some life now and his perspective is a bit different than ours. He knows that in the end it’s all going to be alright.
“That’s just life,” he said, still with a chuckle.
Timmie has been a father-figure, mentor, friend for as long as I’ve known Matt. His light-hearted presence helped steer Matt and me away from wallowing in a day of unexpected and toward embracing the fact that “that’s just life.”
No big deal, right?
So, we took the trailer into town and they had it fixed within a half hour.
Things were looking up.
We showed up for the the last load (Timmie hauled five in the time it took us to haul two) around 1 p.m., and it seemed we might survive the day after all.
With every new project I’m involved in around the farm I learn something. Most of the time it’s valuable hands-on knowledge. Other times, like hay hauling, it’s a broader lesson. A life lesson.
Every day, every project is just another chance to learn, to chuckle, to keep plugging along.
“That’s just life.”
Categories: Life on the farm
My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.
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