August 7, 2019



I don’t often make mistakes. Well, actually I do. I’ve been making mistakes for 70 years. Some grievous, some not so bad.
I made a mistake a week ago. I figured I was done haying. I’ve been haying for several weeks. I put some hay up too wet. I put some hay up too dry. In between I baled up a few bales that were probably just right. I don’t know which ones they were, but I’ll bet the cows eat every bale I feed next winter. They aren’t fussy when it is 20 below and a brisk wind blowing.
I mentioned to a friend one time that I had put up some poor hay. “Beats the hell out of a northwest wind and rabbit tracks,” he responded.
The mistake I made a week ago was with our hay cutter. I had to run down to Reva and I left the keys in the cutter. I know. I know. You shouldn’t leave the keys in stuff.  
Shirley knew that I always leave the keys in everything so she went to work. When I got home from Reva I found that I was not done haying. She had cut hay for another three hours. I wept.
She cut hay so I could make more little square bales, or as many refer to them, “idiot blocks.” She likes to have a few in the barn for her saddle horse or bred heifers that she is calving.
When we hauled the hay I left five small squares up by the road. As Shirley was cutting, a family stopped by and had spotted these five bales. They were boarding a horse somewhere and wanted to purchase the five little bales. That wasn’t a problem.
The problem was that it was a Mexican family and the Dad didn’t speak English. And Shirley is weak on Spanish. The only word she knows is tequila.
But they did have an interpreter. There were five children. One boy, about six years old could speak English. He was the go-between between Shirley and his Dad. But he didn’t know the Mexican word for hay or bales. So the negotiations were a little complicated.
When Shirley figured out what the family wanted she quickly said they could simply have the hay at no charge. They were able to decipher that.
Later that day, when I returned from Reva, Shirley explained what she had done. Only she wasn’t sure what she had done.
She explained that she had done one of three things and she wasn’t sure which. She had given away five small bales. She had given away five big bales. Or she had adopted five Mexican children.
I was happy with any one of the three. The next day I checked. The five small squares were gone. No children. Darn.