Cliff recently contacted a local farmer who agreed to cut and bale our hay... about three acres of a grass-clover mix, and a field almost that big of alfalfa. The trouble is, that farmer, like all the others around here, is scrambling to get his soybeans planted, so we are at the bottom of his list of priorities.
Normally, of course, Cliff would do all this himself. But he's not supposed to get on a tractor now, let alone think about tossing 80-pound hay bales around. We've had lots of people volunteer to help, and Cliff would let them, if his equipment was dependable. But he just bought the big round baler last year and barely got it working; it still isn't right, and he just can't picture somebody else having to figure out its problems. Nobody can make junk equipment work the way Cliff can.
He also purchased a different kind of mower last winter, a very well-used mower indeed. You might even say worn out. However, he thought he had it working. Let's face it, you can't check how a mower is working without hay to mow.
He put one of the neighbor kids on it and pointed him toward a weedy section of pasture, just to see if the thing would work. It did... for about fifty feet. Then it broke.
Cliff had almost decided to accept the help that had been offered: His brother, Phil, was going to come tomorrow and mow the hay. When the time came to rake and bale it, everybody would pitch in and get the job done.
Now all we can do is hope and pray that the farmer who said he'd do it for $15 a bale shows up soon; the hay loses quality if it isn't mowed at the proper time, and the alfalfa is already blooming. And I'm praying that it doesn't rain at the wrong time, and ruin the hay. And that Cliff doesn't get too stressed out and depressed about all this.
All you praying folks, please remember this situation when you think about us.
God's will be done.
I will say that, after what I've seen Cliff go through in the past four weeks, one hay crop is not really all that important in the grand scheme of things.