I took a couple days off of work to help Newt. Usually this time of year, he is burned out from the cold weather, the constant vigilance on the swollen bellies of the cows, and the never ending feeding. Any help is good help.
I like to help. I used to be strong and somewhat handy, but it had been a while since ReeRee or work allowed me on the ranch. To cut feeding time in half, ReeRee and I followed Newt (who was feeding hay with the tractor and bale processor) in the feed pickup with the cake. It really had been a while- I didn’t remember the clutch on the pickup slipping so much.
Newt took the tractor to load bales of wild, prairie hay on the processor. I was directed under the Welker, a large overhead bin that holds up to 25 tons of cake. Newt came over and flipped the lid of the caker up. I rolled down the window, not only to speak to my husband, but to open the door (the inside handle doesn’t work) to get out. “Back it up until the tires come up on the cement,” Newt said. I stayed inside and put the shifter in R. I think I have about 3 feet until the lid hits the downspout and I eased up on the clutch.
The clutch jumped and the pickup sprang back a good foot- the same time Newt became excited and started hopping around, yelling “pull up, PULL UP!” I didn’t have 3 feet, I had 6 inches when the tires popped onto the cement and the lid hit the spout of the bin.
We went back more than six inches and the lid shuts at a weird angle now. “I thought I had more room” and “PULL UP, pull up” and “why didn’t you let me out, you should be doing this” blended into one conversation.
Now every time we drive pass the Welker, ReeRee points and solemnly shakes her head while saying, “No No. Ouch.” And that weird angle of the lid constantly reminds me how much help I was that day.