Hey it’s Terrific Tuesday again, did ya miss me last week? I never got to the last Terrific Tuesday because of the fun at the Board of Supervisors meeting that lasted until almost 5:30. By that time, I was too towed under by that tsunami of government I had witnessed to write frolic. And I was too busy on Wednesday to be winsome.
So how’s everything in your neck of the woods? Here in Botetourt it seems everyone is making hay while the sun is shining. On Sunday we had a church picnic at Limestone Park in Buchanan and by cracky hay was being mowed there. I traveled to Blacksburg yesterday and the Catawba Valley is full of newly mown hay as well. Today my farm joins the rest. Jason from Harmony Farm is on his second big field getting winter goodies for the happy camper animals over there in Mill Creek.
My immediate response, “Achoooooo!”
Growing up on the farm, hay cutting was a mixed blessing. It brought down the tall grass, provided hay for winter and sale, and usually a lot of cussin’ from my father. The mower, the rake, the square baler, the tires on the wagon, the water pump on the tractor…. Always, we heard a series of blue streaks when something didn’t go the way my father expected. Funny, we lived near a church and our community was called “Pleasant Dale.”
I recall once he was working on replacing a shear pin on the baler and he had this great long tremendous tool of a screw driver. He hit his thumb inside the baler and pulled his arm with screw driver out and pronounced every “@@!!!$%#***@@!” in his blue streak, then tossed the screw driver as far as he could throw it. He had eight words in that blue streak and the FCC will only let one of them on the air. He said that one at the beginning and end. An hour later, all of our family of four equipped with flashlights searched for his wonder working big ol’ screw driver. Years later after he had his stroke and I was in biz with the neighbor putting up hay, I found the handy dandy screwdriver.
Once upon a time in my early teen years, my two friends from the Pleasant Dale neighborhood sat on the back steps with me watching him fix a tractor. A good tractor fixin’ tool in his chest was a ball peen hammer. He gave his thumb a good crack with that one. My friend Yvonne had heard the blue streak before, but my friend Pam came from a religious family. Dad drew back the hammer and threw it across the drive way. He rared back to say his favorite blue streak of cuss words when he spied Pam on the steps.
He commenced to shout and hop around holding his thumb,” Durn! Oh, Golly! Gosh Durn! that son of a pup really hurts, Durn.” Yvonne and I fell off the steps in hysterical laughter. Pam admonished me with a “You shouldn’t laugh at your father,” and went to get ice from my mother. Later it became one of my mother’s favorite stories to tell.
So besides rushing to get hay in from the field before thunderstorms or waiting until dark to load the wagon or go get the tractor and mower off of an in ground bumble bee nest across from Pleasant Dale Church of the Brethern, haying was as normal on our place as anywhere else.
Except for that blue streak, Daddy was a good Christian man who sang in the Methodist Church Choir and taught Sunday School. My brother grew up to sell tools and teach Sunday school and well I made hay and taught Sunday school. As for the blue streak?
Some say the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
See ya next week.