In my search for pictures to use on my blog, my lovely sister, Tanya, was kind enough to provide me with some really neat ones to go along with my stories.
The first one was taken during my dad’s younger days, before the extension on the barn was built to add on a hen house (for eggs) and the pig pens, and before even the silo was built. Dad’s shop, the gas house and free-range chicken coop are missing here, too.
Out in the fields, all of the hay bales were stooked to dry instead of tossed right from the bailer into a wagon to take to the barn. Geez, and I thought doing hay the modern way was bad enough, but that would have been HARD work!
I wish I knew what year this was taken, but I don’t.
Here’s how the farm looked as of about 20 years ago. Since, someone has done incredible renovations to the house and made it into a bed and breakfast the last I heard.
My story for today centers around the silo in this picture. It’s about 50 feet high, and I was four or five at the time. On the side of the structure you can’t see, there are metal rungs built into the blocks as a permanent ladder.
Okay, don’t cringe, I didn’t die or anything. 🙂
Anyhow, as usual Dad and I were hanging out as he was doing his daily chores. This part is a little foggy for me, as I don’t remember how this story truly begins, but I think Dad told me to go back to the house because he had some work to do in the silo.
A place, by the way, he never let me go with him at that age because of the height and because of the dangerous machinery that spins around on top of the silage within to send it down the chute for the cows to eat.
Most of the time he would ascent the second ladder, an inside one within the chute itself, protected by a metal channel affixed to the blocks, but that day, because the auger inside was running and the corn was falling in his way, he used the external one.
As he tells it, about the 3/4 point up the ladder, Dad looked down and saw me coming up below him, grinning like the adventurous daredevil I happened to be back then. When he calmed himself out of yet another daughter-induced heart attack, he said he just kept going, encouraging me to come along with him.
I mean, can you imagine being a good forty feet in the air on a rickety ladder, then noticing your five year old had followed you? Yikes! It gives me the willies as an adult because I’m afraid of heights now – that’s another story all together. ::shivers::
Upon reaching the domed roof, where he pushed open a door to let us in, he climbed through the hatch and had to wait another agonizing few seconds until I ascended enough for him to reach me. He said he grabbed my shirt collar, heaved me through and held on for dear life.
Once his heart stopped pounding, I’m sure he gave me hell. 🙂 One I very much deserved that time.
We had to circle around in front of the auger while walking on the ground-up corn stalks and cobs until he fixed whatever he had to fix. I’m pretty sure on the downward climb, I hung onto his neck facing him as he went back down the ladder.
Whether my curiosity was satisfied, or I just needed to prove I could do it at least once, I never climbed up when I wasn’t supposed to again. I did when I got older, but it’s never quite as much fun when you’re doing it to work instead of play. 🙂
Next week, tune in again for my misadventures doing hay and all of the neat things I got to see and do along the way.