Friday, May 27, 2011

Patient, determined, rather reckless and a little stupid

I remember how, in kindergarten, our teachers wrote progress letters, since there were no report cards used in my school.  I don’t recall, anymore, what they wrote about me, but I think if one were describing me now, she would be totally on target if she wrote:  “Patient, determined, creative, rather reckless and a little stupid.”

Case in point, today we got the call, my husband and I.  It was the call that told us the delivery van was about 40 minutes from our house, and we better get our butts home and prepare to unload the haying equipment.

Neither my husband or I know one thing about
1.)   Unloading heavy equipment from a van with a tractor
2.)   Heavy equipment
3.)   Haying equipment
4.)   Haying

And yet, there we were, chains and straps in hand, Bobcat compact tractor revving away, ready to unload heavy, haying equipment from a van so we can subsequently make hay out of our hay fields.
The 1300-pound object and I.

God bless educated, heavy equipment van drivers.  Brian, the one at the wheel of this particular van, guided us, as first I, then my husband, drove the tractor.  He used little finger gestures, up, down, forward, backward, tip the loader this way, that way, gestures that most farm types would recognize right away, but which we had to pause to interpret each time, before attempting to obey.

After a few, terrifying minutes, we had one 900-pound, plastic-covered object at the top of the driveway and one 1300-pound, plastic-covered object half in the road.  The terrifying minutes included the point when my husband was attempting to lift the 900-pound object with the loader and the tractor tipped, with one front wheel leaving the ground.

Brian assured us we could pull them down the driveway with our tractor, as long as we used the strap and got the loader under the edge to lift slightly.  Then he drove away, probably shaking his head and alternately thinking, “Those two will be trying to move that stuff until they are 80,” and “I’m glad I got them to sign the paper that said the equipment was delivered undamaged.”

My husband and I futzed around with the objects and the tractor for a while, and then he, in a bit of a state, had to go back to work.  I waited quietly until he drove away, then pulled out my “patient, determined, creative, rather reckless and a little stupid” persona and got to work.

I attempted to position the loader blade as instructed by Brian, and accidentally hit the forward pedal instead of the brake and pushed the 1300-pound object off the road (yay) but into a very awkward position in deep grass (boo).  Knowing I would be in big trouble if I left it there, I again tried to imitate Brian’s combination of front loader position and strap location.  No go.  This went on for about half an hour.

Finally, I just wrapped the strap around the wooden skid the object was sitting on, threw the Bobcat into reverse and dragged the damned thing down the driveway to safety.   I don’t think this was textbook, but it worked, so that’s where the reckless and stupid can come in handy.

Then, just repeat all previous steps with the 900-pound object (minus the accidental acceleration into the long grass), and both objects were safe.  
I then unwrapped them to find the cutest little pieces of haying equipment I have ever seen.  They are made by Small Farm Innovations, and are just the right size for our Bobcat.

I still have no idea how to use them, let alone put them together, but I have faith.  If “patient, determined, creative, rather reckless and a little stupid” don’t work, I can always count on dumb luck.

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