Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"I Will Survive."

Today certainly will go down in the anals of Days Of Oddness.  First off, it was Wednesday of the week before Christmas, and you could fairly taste the sugar crazed madness exuding from tiny child-sized bodies.  Second, there's a storm coming in tonight and as the barometer drops, everyone goes a little nutty.  Both those thing made for a thrilling day, but the best bit was yet to come.

I have been having a bit of a time finding a source for small bales of hay.  With the drought encouraging sales of hay to far norh and far south climes, hay was expensive and hard to come by this year to begin with.  Factor in needing a small square bale instead of the large bale or round bale that seem to be all the rage, and you've got yourself a hay conundrum.  Imagine my great delight when I found a post on Craigslist for small bales of hay, in an area I was traveling to this morning.


Of course, with Craigslist posters, sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you find an interesting individual at the other end of the email connection.  It started off well, with a prompt email reply this morning, but then came the issue of (a) I didn't want to hang about for hour after getting done with work, and no further replies were coming to my inquiry of where to find the advertised hay and (b) the person didn't seem to have or like using the phone.

What is a farmgirl to do?

I suppose there are several options, including chucking it in and deciding to go elsewhere for the elusive hay, but I chose what was lurking behind Door #3:  release my inner stalker and Google the seller.

Oh yes, I did.  I Googled and tracked her down using public tax records.  Off I merrily went in Lucille Laverne, bounding through the back roads to get my hay.  All was well, until I discovered that the address was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down a winding dirt road, liberally posted with NO TRESPASSING and STAY OUT and NO SOLICITATION signs.  (If the signs weren't unfriendly enough, the bullet holes in them were positively unnerving.)  I had a serious twinge of doubt, that inner voice muttering Holey crap, girl...really?  You're gonna go down this road?, but I was a woman on a mission and there was potentially hay at the end of that unfriendly road.

Undaunted, I took the turn down that road less travelled and off we went.  After working my way back down and around the ridge, the woods opened up to reveal a scraggling homestead of cobbled together outbuildings and a large unfinished handmade house wrapped in Tyvek and insulation.  A burned out truck completed the picture.  No dogs, no kids, no movement outside, but as I pulled up toward the house, I spied a movement behind one of the dark windows.  Somebody was watching, and I really hoped it was the woman who I had emailed about the elusive hay.

A woman emerged from the house, and I hopped out to greet her.  After establishing who she was (the hay seller) and who I was (the crazy stalker lady wanting to buy her hay), she looked me up and down, smirked, and nodded.  She accepted my story about the googling, as long it was only "this time", and pointed me in the direction of the barn.  "Park there," she barked.  I nearly saluted her and parked where directed.  Yes, ma'am.

Silently, we bucked hay and stacked it up in the back of LuLa.  I don't think she was impressed with my style, but its hard to move hay when you are wearing slippery dress boots and a little dress outfit, particularly when your partner is dressed for farm work.  But we got the job done, and she mellowed a bit when I passed her the cash for the goods.  She said she had more hay to sell, and I said I would pass the word along to others in need.  "Thanks", she said, "but don't you go telling them where to find me."  Fixing me with a fierce glare, she went on to tell me that if the Apocalypse  happens as planned on Friday, and martial law was enacted, I shouldn't even bother to come looking because she would be gone, her family would be gone, and no one would be able to find them.

Thank goodness I got that hay today.

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