Terri Kaiser

After last week's article about making hay with the grandparents, I was compelled to keep the story going as there was another whole perspective on the experience than just mine. When I made it known that I was going to write about making hay, it led to a flurry of texts and messages between myself, my Morrison sisters and Kronberger cousins Dan and Barb. A veritable flood of memories was unleashed. Once I had a summer job, haying was passed down to them.

Dan reminded us of how, if any of the machinery needed servicing, Grandpa was sure to have grease from one end of him to the other. I hate to pick on him, but Grandpa got caught up in the power take-off of the tractor once. Now this was scary and thankfully none of us kids were around to witness it, but Grandpa came out okay, just lots of cuts, bumps and many bruises.

Generally, we were done for the season by Sandi’s birthday on July 9th. Except one year. Grandpa showed up with a hearty, “Hey!” and she had to go. By the end of the day, she had perfected the pout to an artform.

Betti is generally one of the more graceful of us all, but there was one year she fell through a rotted board on the wagon. Yep, one minute she was there, the next anyone’s guess. Then, there was the year Grandpa took a corner too fast on the drive to the barn and Betti flew off the wagon and rolled through the gravel. As I am universally considered the klutz of the bunch, I would have paid to see that one. Well, only because she wasn’t hurt, just skinned up a bit. When Grandpa took off, if you weren’t ready, you were slammed against the back of the wagon. Either learn to balance or pay the price, always accompanied by lots of giggles.

There was also the time Dan was run over by the wagon. Just his leg. No big deal. (I’m chuckling.)

I think Grandpa let us all drive before we were old enough. Jacci and Dan were both allowed to drive the loaded wagons into the barn. Barb ran the electric fence over and it took a bit of time to extract the wire from the drive shaft. I nearly missed the barn once while trying to remember how to brake. Grandpa always took it well. That’s the great thing about grandparents.

Old Mike lorded over it all in his perch from the mow, cussing and swearing every time the conveyor clogged. Otherwise, he was a kindly man with a ready smile. If he had to drive the old Allis Chalmers, he did it standing up because he was afraid the seat would fall off as it hung out over the pto shaft.

Grandma really enjoyed having us all there. Jacci reminded us of the hot dogs, beans, chips and Kool-Aid Gram served at the end of the day and how it was a time to sit around the table, tell stories, laugh and just be together. If new barn kitties had been born, Gram would take us all out to see. She kept food out for them at all times. Sometimes she’d take us into the grainery to see the mice scatter.

So, at the conclusion of it all, we are very lucky to have such rich memories and we truly believe it gave us a solid work ethic. But honestly, don’t you see a reality show in all this?

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