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This is, sure enough, hay season, the time of the year the parts stores and tractor dealers live for. The things that were sorta broken last summer but made the last run were put away with a hope and a prayer and forgotten. The need to repair or replace was nevermore thought of as the dreams of turkey and dressing and Yule logs were dreamed of. Now, during the heat of the race, we pay the piper!

The hoses that have broken are able to be fixed or replaced but not today since I didn't get there until after five and stood in line for a while anyway. I do not know how we are gonna fix the part that wound around the other part and broke both of them on the baler. Maybe that college money I spent will produce an answer and then there is the fact that all this stuff runs on fuel and will run out if not checked! That one got my dander up and made the afternoon even more difficult to stomach.

My close relative is good to watch the sun for time for an evening meal. When it is dark, she knows I will be in for supper, too tired for much and needing tall glasses of iced tea. She makes a cool salad look good and adds enough beef to it to satisfy a working body. The scoops of ice cream piled high with strawberries to finish are sure welcomed, and then a shower and bed.

I never sleep as well as I do during haying. The long hours and strife wear me down to a nubbin and my brain goes into neutral the instant I hit the pillow. It is the best part of hard work, the way we are made to use the muscles and bones we are born with and then be blessed with rest.

The parts runs that I was forced to make all these years since the offspring grew into real men have been handed to the oldest grand in many cases. I sure am relieved and glad to give up that job. He seems to understand what he is to get and doesn't spend time lollygagging as he goes. This is all good and yet, that means I am doing something other than sitting in an air-conditioned truck getting cool and listening to music! I can't hide; I am the boss! Or at least I think I am!

It is my opinion, and everyone has one, I am very thankful for the ability to replace, fix, tie down, or at least wire up what we need to work with. I am thankful for the ability to pay for the parts needed, and then there is that wonderful bounty of grass this year. Yes, God has sure blessed this outfit and I know it! The whining you hear is not gonna be from me; I do mine silently and try to be calm and patient at the same time. This entire area is in the process of putting up for winter, laying in for the future, preparing for the coming season.

We are in America and it isn't perfect, but it is the best in the world! I ask you to be aware and thank the Lord and pray more often. He likes to visit with us!

Bill is the pen name of the Gravette-area author of this weekly column. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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