Columnist

Laura Zoeller is a farm wife and mother who has been blessed with a wonderful – and funny - life.

It has already been an interesting hay season. My husband mowed a few acres down last week when the weatherman finally suggested we’d have a few days of dry weather in a row. He had an issue with his tractor that the dealer said couldn’t be repaired on-site, so we began looking at how to work without it for a week or more while it was in the shop.

The day he planned to haul it in, his truck decided to lock into what is apparently called “limp mode,” and refused to travel over 20 mph. Instead of hauling the tractor to the dealer, he babied the truck in for repairs.

Once the truck was up and going, he decided to coddle the tractor until we worked through what hay was down and see about repairs when it rained again. Decision made, he did all of the things required for getting hay up: tetting, raking and baling.

On Sunday afternoon, I decided to surprise him with cold drinks and some sandwiches in the field. He was pleased to see me and asked me to do him a favor. Could I please haul a wagon or two filled with square bales to the barn at home to help him stay on track and ahead of the rain?

I wasn’t so sure this was a great idea. I had never driven this truck before, nor had I ever pulled a full wagon. But he assured me that it was perfectly safe in four-wheel drive, low range, and that I could just take my time. He also told me that our son, who is blessed to be mechanically inclined and quite observant, could ride with me to help me along the way.

Therefore, I agreed.

My son hooked the wagon to the truck for me and climbed back inside. He began pointing out features, like how to start the engine and how to fasten the seat belt. Smart mouth he’s got, eh?

Once he was certain that I could find the hazard lights, away we went. I crept through the field as slow as I possibly could. The engine’s power was far more than I was used to, and even barely tapping the accelerator caused more noise than my car would make with the pedal to the floor.

I was nervous as I started down the hill – of course there was a steep hill to go down – and finally eased from the field to the driveway. The road I entered was also windy and had some steep places, so I just took my time. After what seemed like forever, I entered a road with lines painted on it that meant I was only a few more miles from home. I pulled in, we unhooked, and returned for the second wagon.

My husband was so satisfied with my success that he asked me to bring back the empty, 28-foot gooseneck trailer on my second load. My eyes nearly popped out of my head I guess, because he busted out laughing and told me he was kidding. Thankfully!

I mean, I lived to tell the story, but still. It’s been a few days and my heart is just starting to go back to normal rhythm. That is enough excitement for me for this year.

Laura Zoeller can be reached at zoeller5@verizon.net.

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