My Crazy Life as a Farmer’s Daughter – Part 5

Welcome back to my stroll down memory lane.  Due to some excitement with blog tours and cover reveals, I missed last week, but I’m resuming my regularly scheduled program today.

This particular story is one of those OMG, how did I not die? stories.

As I did often during the latter half of summer, this day I was baling hay in melt-your-bones-hot weather.  The machine was three pieces: the tractor, the bale thrower, and the wagon.  Here’s a picture of the bale thrower courtesy of the CASE International website so you know what I’m talking about below:

My instructions from Dad, as always, were to drive a straight line and keep an eye to make sure the machinery was working okay.  Should be simple enough, right?

Yeah, not so much.  You see, this field was almost entirely a steep hill.  Great for tobogganing down in the winter, but not so much for working on.

Everything was going swimmingly until a bale of hay jammed in between the two spinning tread-mill-type belts that were supposed to launch it into the wagon.

In the middle of the hill.

Of course.

Now, what I should have done is shut the baler off and driven to the top of hill to fix it.  Being a young teen, hot and probably peed-off, I didn’t think of that.

What did I do, you ask?  Something not very bright thinking back on it.  Because the tractor didn’t have a working parking brake, I used a stick we kept for such purposes to wedge between the tractor cab and the brake.  Once I’d secured that, I climbed down from the tractor and onto the bar of the wagon where it attached to the baler.  I commenced reefing on the jammed bale.

I think you can guess what happened next.

Yep, if that dang stick didn’t slip off the brake.

I froze for a split second as I realized I was in the middle of the 3 machines, barreling backwards down a hill.  When I pulled my head out of my rear, I did something equally stupid.  Instead of letting it go and facing Dad’s wrath (kidding, he was as capable of wrath as a teddy bear was capable of turning into a ninja) I jumped up on the baler, ran along the top of it and dove head-first into the back of the tractor’s cab, then jammed both arms down on the brake.  It took a while, and I was almost completely jack-knifed, but I eventually stopped.

I’m pretty sure I choked out my heart and it was laying there on the floor in front of me for a while before it climbed back down my throat.

Of course, Dad had seen the whole thing as he pulled up with an empty wagon.  Damn, I had rotten luck that day.  But I guess I lived to tell the tale, so it wasn’t all bad.  🙂

Next week we’ll learn how NOT to deal with an out of control brush fire.

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6 thoughts on “My Crazy Life as a Farmer’s Daughter – Part 5

  1. They were scary times Jo,but part of the charm of farming..that was a lot of machinery to be handling o your own,but you were more than capable,and you proved it by knowing what to do to stop it..it was instinct and speed on your part..good job….I would have be petrified!!!! Mom

  2. omgosh! I think *I* nearly choked on my heart while reading this, whew! Sometimes we don’t always think when we’re in a crisis situation, we react. Thankfully you knew exactly what to do to stop a horrible chain of events from occurring! 😀 I really enjoy this series on your blog, thanks for sharing, I’m looking forward to Part 6! 😎

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