Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blue Skies, Red Tractor

The hayfield and a tobacco shed have been leased by our neighbor to a local
farmer. He grows and sells vegetables, greenhouse flowers, bedding straw and hay
at his stand, and grows several acres of tobacco at various locations. The
haying operation is an interesting one. After the hay is cut and dried, it is
raked into rows and is then baled, tied and stacked onto the haywagon in one
pass over the field. When I was a child, my mother's father, Grandpa Eastwood, worked the fields with a team of horses. He did it all. After cutting, he would turn it with a tedder and put it into rows. the haywagon would be driven by and a crew of two or three men would toss forkfuls up to a man on the wagon. Hay was brought to the barn and put into the haymow by the forkful. Grandpa was an Englishman and loved his tea. Mother would make tea for him as he worked the field and send barefoot me over the newly cut field for his afternoon tea break. I took shoes off on the first day of school vacation and by September the soles of my feet were really toughened up.
The smell of new mown hay brings back that time in my life, and the pain of running over the sharp stubble.
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