And so it goes at the ranch …

 By Sigrid Settle Special to the Crier

Loading and unloading hay can be a strain on the youngest of backs, so I decided I should order a truckload of hay and have it delivered this year. The plan was simple and all I had to do was to go up,greet the hay truck as I opened the double gates for them to pass through without a ripple of sweat running down my forehead.

The picture in my mind was as good as any vacation plans I could have made during the summer months.

I received a call they had just left the feed store so I had plenty of time to unlock those gates. I opened the two metal gates and tried to pull out the metal pole that held the two gates together and blocked the entrance, but the first pull produced no movement.

I decidedmy arms had grown weak from lack of use, but somehow that didn’t make sense since I’d spent the entire summer cuttinggrass and weeds because of all the rain that had fallen in Oracle. I started tugging, pulling, twisting and mumbling under my breathe but that pole held steady, not moving an inch and then the realization came to me; the summer rains had washed a mountain of sand into the hole surrounding that pole making it an immovable object.

I was surrounded by crowbars and other equipment, the sweat pouring down my face,as the hay truck arrived at the gates.

Two men jumped out of the truck and one of them tried to lift the pole with no success. They finally positioned the crowbar through a hole in the pole, each man taking a hold of the different ends of the crowbar and pulled and pulled and pulled until the pole finally came out of the ground with an abruptness that startled all three of us.

The truck unloaded the hay at the barn and arrived back at the gate as I was still digging sand out of the hole.

The dust from the truck had all but disappeared as I dug out the last of the sand from the hole. As I looked down at the pile of sand lying next to the gate, my back muscles crying out in agony from all the effort expended on the gate,I realized the picture in my mind I had started off with at the beginning of the day had left me just like the breeze that blew across my sweat drenched shirt, but it had been replacedwith a sense of contentment knowing the barn was filled with hay for the long months ahead at the Ranch.

Life happens while we are making plans.

And so it goes at the Ranch…

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