It's late afternoon and it's time for me "put my duds on," as Jim would say, and head out to the barn and throw some bales down for the horses and cows. As I climb up the ladder on the outside of the barn to the hay loft, I remind myself that this is good for me- the stretching and climbing. I am glad I can do it.
The hay barn is beginning to look a bit empty on the one end where we feed the mama cows. This summer, Jim had the hay piled up to the elevator where the light is shining through the upper window. I throw the bales from the hay barn down through a hole to the animals down below and stack it up until it is ready to be used. I enjoy the rustle of the hay. It still smells good, and that makes me happy. Sometimes I use the time to listen to a podcast as I work. Today I just choose to enjoy the quiet. Often I can hear the steers down below munching on hay. At times I hear the horses swishing the hay around in their mangers, looking for the good stuff. The sparrows are always around, chirping. I throw 3-4 days worth of hay down through hay holes to the floor below. There is still quite a bit of horse hay left, as shown in the picture to below. Jim has been hesitant to sell too much of it, as he is not sure how much more he will need. Another horse might just come along that he will need to buy, making another mouth to feed.
My perspective on being the one who gets the hay down has changed. I used to think of it as just one more thing I had to add to my to do list. But Jim said it is such a relief for him to see hay piled up and ready to feed when he gets home from a day of logging. He is already tired and it is one less thing he has to do. So I am glad I can help. I also really am glad for the exercise it gives me as well. There is nothing better than good old fashioned work sometimes to keep the body functioning well. It takes work to get it hay into the barn, and work to get it out of the barn also. When I am done stacking the hay up, I will sometimes feed the momma cows or visit the horses, if there are any in the barn. There is something calming about listening to animals eating hay, and to hear it rustle. To see their enjoyment and to know they are well taken care of causes me to feel my efforts were worthwhile.