My 90 year old grandfather is a farmer. My 54 year old father is a farmer, as are most of the men I grew up knowing in my home town. I grew up with men who worked odd hours, late nights of calves needing to be pulled because they were too big and early mornings of bottle feeding calves because the mother died or just did not take it.
But the best part of the year, or at least my favorite part, is hay season.
I grew up on tractors. Riding in them and on the fender while my dad tended and raked hay, my cousin hauling in hay and occasionally the cute boy who I dated my senior year. I grew up watching my uncles, dad and grandfather talk amongst themselves trying to decide which field was ready to come up, which order they wanted to take up the fields that were mown down.
Even at the age of 21, I relish the days spent on the fender of the tractor riding with my father, watching my uncle bale the hay that we have raked, and then looking over to the fence line and watching my grandfather watching us, making sure that everything is being done right. I have watched my family stay out until it is almost dark because there is a 100 percent chance of rain the next day. Because Paul Harvey said it best:
"So God made a Farmer: God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds..."
I know how lucky I am to have a grandfather who is 90. Because I have seen some of his oldest and best friends leave this earth for heaven, and all I can say is that I hope there is a hayfield in heaven.
A hayfield in heaven is where I can imagine my grandfather best when something happens. Him standing with his friends, or all sitting on tractors. Tractors that do not break down, and balers that do not malfunction. Not having to worry about rainclouds looming in the distance.
I had amazing summers spent on tractors, riding through a hayfield or watching as my grandfather rode on a topless tractor getting the hay ready to take up. So, I cannot imagine heaven not having a hayfield, because it is the only place I can picture my grandfather and all his friends at their happiest.