When the farmer goes out of town

by Katie on June 23, 2011

Today was a textbook example of why brandon-and-katie-can’t-go-on-vacation-this-time-of-year. Or, how the-farm-falls-apart-the-minute-brandon-even-thinks-about-leaving.

It was really supposed to be a normal day. Brandon wasn’t even taking off work. After a two hour power nap this morning (after he got home at 11pm, then baled hay from 2 to 5am), he headed south to the sale barn with a trailer of our cows and calves.

(Of course, after he arrived at the pens this morning to find one of the calves – a CA-razy one – we had sifted last night to go had escaped back out into the pasture. Always a nice surprise. In fact, one of the main reasons she was going was that we couldn’t keep her in the pasture.)

I don’t think he even got to Phoenix before our employee noticed something was wrong with the roadsider (the hay stacking machine). After he had tried a few things via long distance, language barrier instruction, Brandon asked his dad to stop by and check it out. Being the nice guy he is, he obliged. Let me just tell you, he is so regretting that decision right now.

In the meantime, I was busy hauling the hay that had been stacked before anything broke. I had gotten a pretty early start, and had already caught up. With my last load on the truck, I hit my blinker to turn on the road to the hay barns.

But mid-turn, the usually so-loud-you-have-to-yell-at-someone-sitting-next-to-you truck was awfully quiet. Also? The air conditioner fans had dropped to about half-speed. I don’t know much about equipment, except how to make it go, but I knew something was wrong here.

I looked down, and realized the truck had shut off, and I was just coasting down the road. Luckily, it had decided to die after I turned into our place. Not so luckily (or smartly), I did not realize in time to get it to coast to side of the road, rather than dead center.

I knew the temperature gauge had been fine, and was completely baffled as to what the problem could be. Which, granted, doesn’t take much for me.

Since Brandon’s dad had already left to check out the first broken piece of equipment, I enlisted the help of his employee to check out a few things, namely:  radiator fluid and batteries. My only guesses.

He did, but we never got the thing started.

So now, in the middle of a hay cutting, with last nights’ bales still sitting in a field that already has irrigation water started on it, we have a broken hay stacker and hay hauler. And no farmer around to fix it. Which is where life gets rough for my poor father-in-law.

He was able to determine the problem with the roadsider immediately. He was not, however, able to fix it immediately. By not immediately, I mean somewhere around four hours and counting. In the middle of the day. Checked the weather in Phoenix lately? Current temperature at 107 degrees and climbing.

He’s so hot and tired he even turned down an ice cream bar. A Blue Bell ice cream bar. That’s pretty hot and tired, y’all.


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