Friday, November 20, 2009

Feeding the sheep and not thinking

I'm trained as an engineer, and that training went both deep and early.  It means that I approach things analytically, and I spend some time thinking about something before I do it. 

So for me, getting out of my head from time to time is good.  Today was like that.  A blustery, cold day with threatening clouds.  YOu can see the hay barn in the distance, just above the top of the nearest bale.  This hay is for the sheep.  My goal is to keep the sheep on pasture and hay, but it's difficult to judge how much nutrition there is in this hay.  I'm not thinking about that today.  Lift the bale, put it into the front loader.  Stack the next bale.  Repeat. 

The sheep are always excited when they get a new bale of hay; they like to nose into it to find the best little bits of whatever it is that sheep like in the hay.  This hay smells good; it's got a nice green color in the center; the outside is a little bleached -- I put it it up 5 months ago, in June.   The smell of the hay brings back the heat of that day, and the rows of bales.  I hired my nephew Alex and a friend of his, Jay, and my girlfriend andrea drove the truck as the three guys threw the bales on the trailer.  That was a good day.  You felt the sun on your skin and the water was so good because it felt like every bale sucked a quart out of you.  It's nice when plain water becomes a treat.   Physical labor is under-rated. 

Alex joined the Air Force about a month after that.  He was 18, and he didn't tell his dad.  He went to the recruitment office, signed the papers, did the physical and told my brother Ken that he was leaving the day before he did.  I'd hired Alex and Jay last year, too, and I got a litany of complaints about  how hard the work was from both of them.  This year I noticed that Alex just worked.  I think he grew up in the last year, and it was time for him to go. 

I'm hoping to see Alex this thanksgiving; I'd like to hear the boot camp stories that every soldier has, that are all different but all the same.  Alex is in Missisippi now, and will probably deploy to Afghanistan next year. 

1 comment:

Karen B in northern Idaho said...

Ice cold limeade is our favorite drink when we get our hay deliveries in July :-)