WHAT DOES THE GRANDMA SAY?

Spring Break stinks!  It is hard enough for a Grandma of 57 to care for her Grandson of 8 using regular daily routines.  Then the school system throws in all of these extra breaks.

Every other Friday is only a half day.  Used to be the only “break” was during Christmas, now they have a Fall and a Spring Break too!  I have custody of him, so it is a never ending mental endurance just to keep up with him.  During the extended times off, I have to come up with things to occupy his mind even more.

Lucky this Grandma is a crafter and gardener!  The last three days have been really cool and rainy (of course – just because the kids are off-grrr), so they qualified for crafting days!  I come fully prepared to handle this battle.

This is the target:

n n max 3 29 17

My Grandson is holding his second favorite cat, Max.

The tools needed to complete the job:

 

The final product for today:

(It’s up to you to decide who did which project.)

One last bit of fun to share with you.  My cousin, who lives in Alaska, sent me this pic this morning:

Jeffys AK skyline 3-28-17

His skies are awesome, but check out the snow they still have – eeek!

Happy Spring Y’All!!

 

 

 

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DO YOU LOVE RESEARCHING? Or a visit to South Dakota?

I absolutely love researching!  I think it goes hand-in-hand with my passion for digging in the garden and trying new things.  When I research I have to watch myself closely.  I get side-tracked very easily.  I was cleaning up my email this morning and I get one from Mother Nature Network titled : Mount Rushmore’s Hidden Chamber.   SO COOL!!

If you have seen the National Treasure movies – specifically the 2nd one Book of Secrets, then you may find this interesting also.

national-treasure-2

The article goes on to say that there is actually a cave that was built into Mount Rushmore.  It was never completed, but the concept was pretty awesome.  They wanted the cave to house some of American history – including the creation of the Monument.

mount-rushmore

I know this has nothing to do with farming or gardening, but it does have to do with travel.  We have been researching places to take my grandson to this summer.  Those of you that have been following me know how much of a challenge this is.  He is A.D.H.D./Autistic – meaning – very VERY low attention span.

He has never flown and we are just not prepared for that fiasco yet – so staying on the ground is a must. I love to drive, always have, so this is not a problem.  (It is one of my let my mind wander times.)  The others in the car with me (usually my sister) may sleep part of the time, which leaves me to my own thoughts.  Most of them are about the farm and changes I would love to see accomplished.  So, I guess this is sort of in the relm of discussion – researching a possible trip to North Dakota.

Well, this article caught my eye because I have not been back to see that site since they started building the carving of Crazy Horse Memorial.  It is one thing to see the completed faces, totally better seeing one created.  It is amazing seeing them up close and personal!  Since my grandson loves rocks, fossils and digging; thought he might just like this too.  Now if we can see the cave that would make our visit worth the drive.

Days like this I wonder how we, as the human species, can create something as outstanding at this; but then turn around and belittle, degrade, and damage each other and our earth?

I would love to hear from any of you that live near, or have recently visited the site!  I may have to check into a train ride to it since he loves trains also.

old-passenger-train-car

(Yes, I know they do not look this way anymore, but it still would be fun to see the inside of one like this that has been refurbished!)

For now, I guess I will just have to stick with my researching.  Maybe I should switch topic to “how to tie your wild grandchild down in the car for a road trip?”  Before you all think I am an evil grandma from hell, I did purchase many “fidget” toys for him.  He also has his own tablet for reading and games (games mostly).  I do have things that SHOULD keep him occupied, however he gets bored with them so fast that none of them work.  Maybe I will just have to drive really, really fast.

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Does Your Mother Cook?

If she does, be glad!  My mother could not cook.  We loved her dearly but she would be the first to tell you that her cooking stinks!  This is not being mean, but rather being factual.  She hated cooking.  I think this was a major reason for her marrying our dad.  He loved to cook and was great at it!

To explain just how much our mother hated cooking I will need to share two stories with you.

*****************************************************************************

Once upon a time there was a woman who really hated to cook.  To say she hated to cook is not completely accurate.  She was not very good at it which led to her hating it.  Early in the course of her life she met a man.  This man LOVED to cook, and he was very good at it.  The two fell in love, were married and proceeded to have three silly daughters.

One perfect summer day, the woman thought she would make something simple for her family to eat.  Noodles and tomatoes should be simple enough, or so she thought.   The woman was born and raised during the Great Depression, and this dish was one of her favorite family dishes.  In her time, growing and making your own was a normal way of life.  Noodles and tomatoes – all homemade/homegrown – perfect!

She had every good intention of putting together this wonderful, family favorite, easy dish for all to enjoy.  The woman did not take into consideration her numerous distraction on the farm where they now live.  She started out with a smile filling the metal pot with water.  A warm breeze was flowing through all of the open windows and doors.  She could hear her daughters playing joyfully outside.  She placed the pot of water on the gas stove, added about a tablespoon of salt (as you do with noodles), turned the flame to the appropriate height, and went about her chores.

This is where her distaste of cooking comes into play.  While she was going about her chores, cleaning, laundry, checking on the animals and kids;  the pot continued to boil.

  • It boiled till it was a rolling boil.
    • It boiled until there was no water left in the pot.
      • It boiled until it melted all over the stove.

She and the girls all saw the smoke billowing out of the kitchen.  She told them to stay put as she ran in to find the disaster.  To this day, this beautiful, warm, touching family moment is shared amongst siblings during any moment of childhood recollections and laughter abounds.

flaming-pan-on-stove

(This picture gives you an idea – sort of – it did not flame, it just melted, caused a ton of smoke, and a huge mess.  We, unfortunately, do not have any pictures of that ordeal – this is the closest I could come to it.)

**********************************************************************

This second story is a bit of a history lesson.  During my high school years (mid to late 1970’s), we moved around a bit.  It was also the time that the “microwave oven” came out and was all the rage.  It can cook anything – ya, sure!  The reason I remember this historical fact is due to my mother and her cooking inabilities.

The only thing she really could do well was boil water (unless she got distracted).  This just happens to be the main necessity for noodles.  Thus, noodles were her specialty of meals.  Stoves were another thing of distrust.  Then came the microwave cooker!  Now, don’t let the name fool you as it did her.  She only caught the “cooker” part and began assuming (there is that darn “ass” word again-grr) that this new wonder of the world would be her savior.  This miracle of science would not turn her into some type of Julia Childs.  Ahh, such is the thing that dreams are made of!

Dad happily purchased one of the miracle workers for mom during our 2nd (maybe 3rd) move.  We were very strapped for cash, so a purchase of this kind had to be especially special.  Excited as mom was she could not wait to try her beloved noodles – so sad.

She read all the instructions so carefully, just as a normal female does (jab jab male species).  Took her time.  Obtained the appropriate container (this alone was a shocker).  Put in the correct amount of water and salt.  Added her noodles and put the wonder to work.  Approximately 20 minutes later we had a marvelous bowl filled with mush!

My amazing mother, the eternal optimist, tried again – and again – and again.  When she final got discouraged, Dad made supper and all was satisfied.  After this fiasco, she came to the conclusion that a microwave cooker was not for cooking any more than the stove was.  That moment on she swore to only use it to re-heat food, and thus it went.

She got so good at the re-heating part, that one year for Christmas my younger sister bought her a book called “101 Things to do with Ramen NoodlesRAPTURE!  She was now going to be able to cook, and had a goal of making every single recipe in the book (which she did with great flare!).

         ramen-noodle-book     micrwave   ˭

valentine-heart-filled-with-hearts

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Is Yours the Mother of All Fights?

Mom was creative, outgoing, and seemed to find the fun in everything.  Her sense-of-humor was beyond reproach!  My little sister (yes, the same one I share the farm with now) and I fought like cats and dogs constantly!  One day, Mom stepped into one of our blow-outs and handed each of us a butter knife.

butter-knife Now, for those of you that do not know your way around a kitchen, a butter knife is just that – a blade no sharper than to cut butter.  WE FREAKED OUT – mom just handed each of us a knife!  What were we supposed to do with it?

When she put them in our hands she yelled:

“Now try to kill each other!”

In a very firm voice, I must say!  We just stood there looking at the knives and looking at her, then back at each other.  She started mumbling something under her breath, turned and walked out of the room.  We were still standing there mortified!

Mom gave us each a knife – MOM GAVE US EACH A KNIFE – WHAT??  After what felt like an eternity, we sat down right where we were standing.  Knives still in hand we glanced at them and then to each other.  This whole shocking situation must have gone on for at least an hour.

Then, as we sisters always did, we scooted closer to one another.  We began questioning what was wrong with mom, and just what were we supposed to do with these knives?  We were, in fact, only about 5 and 7 years old at the time – what were we going to do with any kind of knife?

Well, Mom, the smartie that she was, knew that we never really wanted to kill each other, but she was fed up with our fighting.  Pulling out a real possibility of damage caused the two sisters to band together (she was so smart) to solve our dilemma.

The thing about the two of us that disturbed mom is how we could be so mean to each other, but should an outside source attack one or the other, we immediately bonded together against the foe!  She and her siblings were never like that, so she just could not fathom why we could not play nice with each other.  We remained this way until…oh wait, we still do it on occasion!?

However, no matter how many times we fought, bit, punched, or ran off on one another; mom managed to flip it into a her vs. us situation.  She had this fantastic way of defusing any issue.  To this day, whenever my sister and I have any issues we cannot resolve; one or the other of us will hold up our fisted hand like we still have that butter knife in it and wave it at the other.  Within seconds neither of us can stop laughing.  This small memory of our mother still calms any of our tense circumstances.

We have also created a new stress-relief moment….75¢… that is all either of us needs to say, at any given bad moment, to result in instant smiling relief (want to know why, read my past blog: https://helbergfarmstories.com/2017/01/25/2295/ ).

Mom embedded many outstanding mom-isms into us as we grew.  A great many times we had no clue, at the time, what was happening.  Now, as we are old enough to understand all the true meanings of her methods, I am in awe of her!  How did she manage to stay sane with all of us wack-jobs around her?  How did she manage to not only keep her humorous nature but somehow instill it into her children?  What an amazing woman she was!  Thank you mom!!

thank-you-heart

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WHY ARE THERE NO THANKSGIVING SONGS?

I have been digging around, and this is all I found:

1. Food, Glorious Food from the movie Oliver (yes – they consider this a TG song??)
2. Count Your Blessing Instead of Sheep – from the movie White Christmas (Christmas – Hello!?)
3. Funny Thanksgiving Song “Thanksgiving Overture” (done to William Tell Overture – it is funny!)
4. Thanksgiving Prayer by Johnny Cash (this one is a REAL TG song – yeah!!)
5. Thanksgiving Song by Mary Chapin Carpenter (love this one – beautiful!!)
6. My Favorite Things – by Julie Andres from the Sound of Music movie (sort of counts?)
7. Over the River and Through the Woods. Some try to say this is a TG song, sorry but I really think this one is more of a Christmas (especially since they use the words “Merry Christmas” in the song – DUH!)
8. This is a true Thanksgiving song and happens to be one of my favorites: Thanksgiving Song by Adam Sandler.
9. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. This is also one of my favs, but I use it in many, many more circumstances than just Thanksgiving.

Well, you can only listen to these few songs so many times before you crack! So I am turning to old-fashioned Christmas songs to go with it. These together make me smile and bring back some really wonderful memories.

our-wild-turkey

(Wild Turkey that visited us earlier this year – hope you can see him on the fence?  He is kind of like Where’s Waldo in this pic – hee hee.)

our-turkey-whiskey

(This is our fat bird “Whiskey,” and no he will not be on the menu. He follows me everywhere, and I named him – idiot me!)

I remember helping dad with so many great yummies. Peeling grapes (I hated it), then cutting them in half to go into the fruit salad. We had to open them up back then because there was no such thing as a “seedless grape” – CRAZY I KNOW, BUT TRUE!!?? The fruit salad was always my favorite because I would sample the fruit as it was being cut into tiny pieces. Dad would shoot me a glare every now-and-then, but it would turn into a smile with a “Cut that out” attached to it.
We always had a variety of food, and there were always the potluck’s that came from other family and friends. See, this was also a HUGE football day back then so all the family and closest friends came over. I think it was mainly because of 3 things:

1. All the men fit into our huge living room.
2. All the women fit into our huge kitchen.
3. All the kids had the farm, barns, animals to mess with and kept them away from the parents.

Worked out perfect for all involved!

nice-fall-centerpiece

SO BRING IT ON THANKSGIVING!! I have a lot to be thankful for this year!

 

(Side thought: Has anyone else ever read Stephen King’s The Dead Zone?  What are your thoughts on it?)

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THE CORN ROAST or HOW TO THROW A PARTY – part 2.

As the sun started to go down, the party was still going.  Uncle Vern (my dad’s brother) was usually tending to the grill by now, finishing up whatever was left to cook.  The “old hats” at the party knew it was time to break out the coolers to pack up their share of the food.  The kids were still all over the farm.

corn-on-the-grill

As the sun disappeared, more fun began.  The adults moved into the garage (it was called the garage, but it was also a workshop and had enough room for tractors and farming equipment in the back – all moved out of course for this shindig.), and the kids came down from the hay loft to start chasing things in the dark.

We had a great huge yard light.  It lit up everything corner of the center of our driveway (Picture a huge gravel circle with a house, garage, huge machine shed, barn and pump/tack house all around it – this was the center of our driveway – about the size of 10 full-size trampolines).

The garage doors were wide open, so it was easy for the adults to watch us.  The little kids, by now, were settling into their parent’s laps or finding a soft spot on the lawn to curl up on.  (Funny – I say “little” kids like I was so big – NOT – I was always the short one.  During this time I could have only have been around  8 or 9 years old – LMAO.)  We, the older kids, were now chasing fireflies (lightening bugs to some of you) and ducking from bats and moths that were compelled to go to the light.

fireflies-at-night

IT NEVER FAILED – a moth would get stuck in my hair!  I inherited my father’s thick curly hair – oh lucky me!  Even though mom cut it short every spring, the darn critters would still get all tangled up in it.  To this day, I can’t stand MILLER MOTHS!! Grrr!!!  They would crunch as you tried to wrestle them out – yuck!

miller-moth

Slowly but surely, the crowd would start to dwindle down.  The closest friends and family were always the last to shuffle out.  Usually, there were a few stragglers that would spend the night. Why not?  Our place was enormous, and dad was always up for cooking to a passel of people.  Guests always meant an awesome breakfast the next morning!

Exhausted but extremely content, mom and dad would shuffle us girls off to bed.  All the fun and joy from all the play of the day was not strong enough to keep our eyelids from closing.  Sweet dreams all around! 

  •   No worries about tomorrow. 
    •   No fears about the night. 
      • Just great memories until the next family corn roast!

corn-roast-yum

THE CORN ROAST or HOW TO THROW A PARTY.

A kids’ life on a farm can be amazing!  We were lucky that we had such a fantastic family with such great family and friends.  When it came time to bale hay (yep all small bales only back then), plant crops, pick rock, fix fence – whatever – a load of people would show up to help.  In turn, we would help them with their tasks (chicken butchering was more fun that rabbits – but that is another story).  The amazing part was a large number of people that would show up to help.  

My father was a cook-a-holic.  He loved being in the kitchen, at a grill, where ever as long as he was the cook.  The highlight of every year was our annual fall corn roast.  It started out simple enough, a small thank-you-type afternoon with family to show our appreciation for everyone’s help.  Soon, family extended to friends, then extended to friends of a friend.  The roast went from a small charcoal cooker, closest family (Aunts uncles, cousins, etc.), drinks and a quiet evening; into a full blown whole day event!

 It starts at the crack of dawn.  My sisters and I get dragged out of bed just as the sun is trying to rise.  We get thrown onto the back of the flat-bed wagon, which is still damp from the morning dew, and hauled out to the corn field. Thank goodness we never put away our winter mittens!

The machine corn pickers have already been through the fields.  They pick up most of it, but not all, for the canning company (hee hee – I know where your canned corn comes from!).  They flatten everything as they go.  Now it’s our turn.

corn-picker

Dad drives the tractor this time (we all know now that baby sister CAN NOT drive a straight line – or is that would not?), and all of we girls jump off and start picking up the leftover cobs and throwing them onto the wagon.  This goes on for about an hour or so; then it’s time to head back up to the house.

Dad pulls the tractor up next to a shiny horse tank.  We help him to unload a portion of the corn.  Dad has the garden hose running in the tank at the same time, then tops it all off with a ton of ice cubes (I have no clue where they all came from because our freezers could never hold that much – the mysterious Ice Fairy?).

Dad and a couple of my Uncles took an old metal drum, cut it in half (length-wise – I know you have seen these because they are on almost every farm now), and turned it into one huge grill.  The coals get to the right temp and the corn, husks and all, goes on.

outdoor-cooker

(This is sort of what it looked like, but no wheels or wagon.  It had welded legs on the bottom to stand on)

People start to swarm in.  Some have brought their own food to cook or share – several salads, hamburgers, hotdogs for the kids, sodas, beer, chips, you name it, it all starts pouring in.  By now it is only about 10 a.m.

The day finally starts to kick into full gear. 

·         The grill is in high heat and cooking away.

·         The ladies (moms mostly) are running stuff back and forth from the house to the grill.

·         The kids are running amok everywhere.

·         Our main job for part of the day was giving the no-horse kids rides.  This was done by plopping them up in the saddle, then leading the horse around (boring, but our job – plus the kids LOVED it!!)

·         The volleyball net goes up; the lawn chairs come out, and all the games begin.

Everyone eats and people are scattered everywhere.  It is mostly a lawn type of activity (at least that’s where all the kids get to sit, our choice.) after all.  Once Dad is sure most everyone had been fed, he checks the wagon.  The last of the corn is off the wagon and in the ice tank, so it’s time to move the wagon.  Now was a great time for young and old alike.  Everyone piles onto the wagon in groups (can’t hold more than about 20-25, and there are over 100 bodies here now).  It’s hay/wagon ride time.  Dad’s favorite part!

Everyone on the wagon is having a ball, but I loved to watch dad.  His face would light up when he would pop the clutch to make the wagon jump.  Everybody would fall back and bust out laughing – especially dad.  Our farm was very hilly.  He would drive up and down the hills on purpose just to watch the riders flopping all over laughing.  Then it was back up to the yard to get another group and repeat.

  wagon-ride

(We looked very much like this except for one HUGE difference – DAD ALWAYS WORE A BLACK FELT COWBOY HAT – no lame weed woven thing for him! LMAO)

(To Be Continued Next Wednesday 10-12-16.)

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OH NO – NOT ANOTHER COOL DAD STORY?

To properly explain this one, I am going to have to write you a picture:

  • Two sisters, one about four the other about six.
  • It is early1960’s in Wisconsin.
  • Our farm is several miles from the nearest major highway, so a trip is required for everything.
  • The main road: County Trunk W.
  • The type of road: 2-lane, HUGE hills (cannot see the other side until you are on top of them type hills).
  • And so our story begins:

It is a beautiful fall day.  The leaves are either turning or falling, and this part of Wisconsin has such an amazing variety of trees that you are awestruck by colors.  The air is crisp, even in the mid-afternoon.  Dad decides we have to go to the grocery store in Adell (not the closest city, but a larger selection) to pick up some stuff.  We are taking the farm truck (I have no clue year, make or model – have to ask my older sister since she totaled it – but that’s another story).  No seatbelts (neither in it or required to have it- go figure?).

Dad grabs the girls and throws them into the front seat of the truck, then slides in on the driver’s side and starts her up.  Varoom, rumble, rumble, rumble (yes, this is how an old farm pickup truck sounds) and off we go.

From the end of our driveway, you turn onto County Trunk W and go east toward Adell.  We sit at the top of a hill, so the start is fun picking up speed on the way down.  Now remember, it is early 1960’s so cops really didn’t look for speeders on all the county roads (most of them were still gravel anyway – now ours.)

Down the hill, up a smaller one, and over – picking up some more speed.  Down again, up again, down again; this continues for about five or six miles, and THERE IT IS – SKUNK HILL.  The reason for the name is because of all the dead skunks on it.  You cannot see over to the other side, so there is no time to slow down.

  • Once over,
    • you see it,
      • it’s dead – and
        • your car/truck will stink for a month

It was the tallest hill around.  Dad was beatin feet to get up that puppy.  Hit the top and it happened, up we went off the seat into the air!  Squeals of joy and laughter rung out!  Dad was laughing even harder at us and our excitement just over a jump on a hill.  Great joy in the little things.  The laughter did not stop for another 3 or so miles until we got to the store.

NOW, some of you will be seeing the danger here.

Some of you will be seeing bad parenting here.

But some of you, just some of you will see this:

calvin-n-hobbes-laughing

  silly-minion-1

silly-minions-2

farm-dad-1

     great-dad2

Our parents were great!  Loving, funny, caring, sharing, encouraging, outstanding.  So please do not judge too harshly the decade we grew up in because it was all good. 

They were not rich, but our lives were.  If I could, I would wish that all children would have at least a couple of summers, and maybe a few falls, on a farm.

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How Cool is Your Dad?

Our dad was AWESOME (yes, you must sing the last word here!)!  Our parents were outstanding but in completely different ways.  It took the two of them to create we three monster sisters, but this story is about Dad.

Fall brings back more memories of Dad than Mom.  He kept the farm rolling.  He worked a full-time job in Milwaukee, at the same time carried a full-time job working our 80-acre farm.  That’s a lot of working and a lot of stress.  The amazing part is he always found time for us.  He included us in all parts of the farm.

In Wisconsin, we had to do a chore every spring called “picking rock” – yes, we hand picked up large rocks in the fields.  This had to be done before the plows could come through or they would cause major damage to the equipment.  My little sister was about 4-years old when she was initiated.

pushing-boulder-up-hill

We had this great little gray Massey Ferguson tractor.  It was the littlest one on our farm and a perfect fit for little girls.  Dad hooked up one of the flatbed trailers to the tractor, lifted us three girls up on the flatbed, and out to the fields we went.

Once in the field, Dad put the youngest (only four remember) into the driver’s seat, tied a wooden block to her gas pedal foot, put the tractor in the lowest gear and off she started.  My older sister, I, and my dad then would walk the field alongside the trailer finding, picking up, and loading all the rocks about softball size and up onto the wagon.  Easy right?  WRONG!

The best thing our parents gave us is our sense of humor; it is also the worst.  The baby sister and I were always at each other; it was our “thing.”  She now had a perfect advantage.  It all started out innocent enough, scooting along in the tractor.  Nice and smooth, slow and steady.  If we had a fairly big rock her job was to stop until we had it loaded (Yep – here it comes).

She did her job perfectly with Dad.  Just as well with our eldest sister.  Then there was me.  First, it started out as it should, moving along, picking up and loading rocks.  Then she saw me pick up a rock that was obviously very heavy and awkward for me.

She stopped the wagon.

Waited for me to get right up to it to set down the rock.

Then purposely bolted ahead so I could not set down the rock (little jerk)!

What made matters worse for me, was Dad laughing.  Our older sister joined in, and I was once again the brunt of the joke.  The more they laughed, the more she did it, the angrier I became – which made them all laugh harder.

dont-throw-rocks-sign  (or little sisters)

Dad would eventually compose himself and reprimand baby sister – sort of.  She would be good for a while, then start back up again.  This became the family ritual every rock picking season.  Funny how a person can get used to good-hearting ribbing, but others will call it a form of abuse.  To me, it was just normal family fun farm stuff.

3-sister-stones

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FARM KIDS AND FLYING HAY.

We had an 80-acre farm in Wisconsin that grew veggies for canning for winter food.  We also grew wheat, corn, and hay for the winter critters.  We raised beef cattle, had horses for fun, and a 4-H project with rabbits that got way out of control but filled the freezers with meat for a year (that’s another story).

One of my fondest memories growing up was of making hay.  Now before you panic, let me explain.  These were the old, small bales, the ones that usually weighed between 50-80 pounds and a normal adult could pick up and throw around.  This process became a family tradition.

We were the family with all the land and all the equipment, so when it came time to doing something like making hay, it was an extended family event.  Cousins, Aunts, Uncles and even some close family friends would be involved.  The parents and older kids worked the fields, while the kids got to work up in the haystack in the barn (I know, we were ripped off!).  The lower starting levels were not bad; but as the stack grew and the gap between the top of the hay and the top of the barn got smaller, the heat got more intense.  I don’t remember anyone passing out, but I also do not remember anyone coming out of there dry.

hay-baler-pic

(This is close to what ours was like, except back then there were no side racks, the hay came off the baler and we pulled it onto the wagon and stacked it.  The wheels were also up front and in back instead of in the middle)

The only major issue I remember is at the end of one season; the kids were allowed to go out and ride the last wagon of hay back (huge praise for our kid work).  My dad’s brother, Uncle Vern, was the tractor driver that day.  The wagon was full, we were all on top, and he was cruising back to the house.

The road from the hay field to the barn had only one stop.  The problem was it was at an intersection that sat at the bottom of a very steep hill (appropriately there also happened to be an old cemetery right across the street from where we had to stop – a very spooky cemetery!).  Well, Uncle Vern knew how bad this intersection was so he had been watching the top of the hill as we approached.  Instead of coming to a complete stop Uncle stood up, looked both ways one more time and then gunned the tractor.   (Everyone hated that turn because you couldn’t see anyone coming until they were already over the hill and just about on that intersection…this is why I said the cemetery was: appropriately placed there – eeek!).  He started the turn, was going a bit too fast, the hay on the wagon was not tied down (ya, no one even thought to do it back then), and we all tipped over!  The hay and the kids flew.  The tractor and, surprisingly, the wagon remained on their wheels.

UNCLE VERN STOPPED!

Parents from the house were watching from the top of the hay barn and saw us all fly.  Immediately they came rushing down the hill to help.  One group stopped traffic up by our driveway on the top of the hill.  Another group went to stop traffic in the other directions.  The rest ran to our aid.  You should have seen their faces.

NO ONE WAS HURT – NOT EVEN A SCRATCH, AND WE WERE LAUGHING!

 calvin-n-hobbes-laughing

Yep, crazy farm kids, had a blast flying off the top of the bales into the ditch.  It was grassy and semi-soft.  We were on the top of the stacked bales, so nothing landed on top of us, and besides; we all had jumped from greater heights inside the barn into the straw pile.  We thought it was fun – scary, but fun.  Later, eventually, so did our parents.

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(This is very close to what it looked like before the dump.  The bales were stacked the same way, only add one more top row – 5 high – and we sat on top.) Ahhh,  childhood memories!

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