For the record: Willie and Bill served as Lovestead hay hands last Friday. Lovestead hay hands have a much easier job than Tibbs Arabians hay hands.
Namely, they have fewer bales to lift. Our harvest this year netted about 150 bales. Harvey Lippert's crew loads them up and stacks them next to or partially inside a bay in the big shed at the end of the lane.
It took Bill and Willie about an hour to transfer the bales to their winter home.
While they were dripping with sweat and dealing with uncomfortable chaff, I mowed a section of lawn, always looking to see how much the stack had diminished and thanking my lucky stars that I didn't have to be out there.
Bucking bales in August is the most miserable of jobs, and I've made up my mind that my "bucking" list is complete for a lifetime----bales and horses.
So, I'm thankful that Bill and Willie pitched in to help me keep that promise to myself.
Barbara and Laurie have grown weary of the job too. This year Barbara heard from their next-door neighbors that football players from Sandpoint High were willing to throw a few bales, so she got names.
The guys showed up two nights in a row and transferred the Colburn stack of several tons to the big hay mow in their stately barn.
Our family's list of hired hay hands dates back nearly 50 years----to a time after my brothers, Kevin and Mike graduated from high school. Over the years, my other brother Jim joined the ranks as did my son Willie.
Among the list of bale buckers over the years are business owners like Ralph who developed Dover Bay www.doverbayidaho.com/and John who started Unicep www.unicep.com. They also include local attorneys, teachers and several members of the Bouse family.
The "grand ol' man of the crew," Daniel Bouse (bottom photo) has been helping with the hay since his high school years back when I was teaching in the early 2000s.
He's now 27 and does tile work as his main job.
This year's crew---as Barbara puts it---are phenomenal ambassadors for the Sandpoint High football team---polite, nice, friendly, team-oriented and skilled at putting hay in the barn properly.