Saturday, April 1, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 82nd Installment

fork. Then that tractor would join the circular race from the stack to the field, and then back to the stack. It was a non–stop haying operation with the tractors speeding around and around and around all day, and Russ and I were the only grunts doing any real work. I loved it.

What do ya’ mean you like to haul hay?” Russ asked a couple of weeks into the first crop. We had about half of the sixteen hundred acres finished. On days with good weather and little wind, we would move two thousand bales a day or about ninety tons.

I like impossibly hard work,” I boasted. “I work up to the point of collapse, then work through it and magic happens – I’m good for the rest of the day.” Actually, this was my way of mental preparation to get me through my body’s aching muscles and suppress any desire to quit and sit down.

What about the first twenty minutes after lunch, when all your blood and energy is devoted to the gallon and a half of food you shoved down your gut?” Russ was still trying to trip me up.

Well, you’re right, dang it,” I admitted, “but I’ll never cut back on farmhouse cooking – Thanksgiving size meals with all the trimmings, cooked to perfection every day. You know my only true love is eating and eating a lot.” 
Snap out of your daydream; the next slip is here,” Russ said, giving me a push hard enough, that I fell and had to scramble up to get out of the way of the oncoming tractor. This particular tractor was driven by my younger sister Vicki. The tractor seemed to be without a driver, she was so small compared to its hulking power. Vicki, at age nine, would steer the tractor standing up because she could only stop it by bracing her back against the seat. Then she could push the clutch down and pull it out of gear before her strength gave out. Both Linda, my older sister, and Vicki worked for Carl when the need for more drivers arose. We were working the north eighty, the furthest from the hay yard giving us a little time to banter between loads. 
You know it takes time for Vicki to stop the big rig. I could have been killed just now!” I complained, even though there was little danger of me not having time to get out of the way.

Oh yeah, I remember Vicki and the great tractor wreck.” Russ said with a slow smile.

Well, I guess it was funnier than damaging or dangerous,” I said.

Yeah, the day she ditched the tractor,” Russ grinned. “Get it? Ditched the tractor – ditched…” 
The day of the wreck, we had moved to another field, and the route the tractors took had changed. Vicki was the first out and was driving cross country

500 more words tomorrow

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