trucks and hay and strawberries

June 4:

   We left early this morning to go see a truck in Quaker City.  The boys had been up late last night – S-4 was to a Pirates game, and S-2 and S-3 stayed in town after the softball game to save me picking him up.  The Bucks went into twelve innings, and 4 didn’t get back to town until twelve-thirty, so only 3 got up at the ususal time, and came with us, to lend his input to the truck business.

   It was a nice morning, cool enough for a sweater, but only slightly cloudy as we went southwest on 22.  We stopped at a few country garage sales.  The first one was in Anterim, at a Mennonite home.  We had a nice talk with the two women there, and they are going to call us with the number of some friends they have in KY who have fifteen acres or so in Harrison County, OH to sell.  The  land we were driving through was lovely; the first thirty or so miles were quite familiar, the stretch of 22 between Steubenville and Cambridge, but then we turned south on 513 and drove over land which was probably stripped at one time, but is recovering, and seems to have a growing population of Amish farmers.  Lovely, rolling country, only good for the small farmer whose methods improve the soil.  We saw evidence of other kinds of farming along 22, harsh and dry, and it didn’t look nearly as nice.

   We bought the truck.  Quaker City is a nice town, small, folksy, and familiar.  The terrain is less vertical, and the area floods regularly, from the small creeks that drain the hills around, but people there seem to like the place.  It is not prosperous.  We came home up 9 from St. Clairesville, and saw more nice farmland, much more of it cleared hilltop, probably former stripped land.  We stopped at Kuesters for parts they didn’t have, but got good information about where to look for them.

   I’m not sure what S-2 and S-4did this morning, but they were working on the barn, and the girls took care of S-6and made the downstairs neat.  They managed very well.  This afternoon the men baled the front field at the TOR’s and got ninety-three bales, which was within 3’s guess of seventy-five to one-hundred, and ‘way over Shawn’s of fifty, and mine of thirty.  That means we have about two-hundred twenty-five in the loft now, and we haven’t really begun to finish at the Sisters’.  We haven’t done Barry’s horse pasture, either, and Shawn thinks he would really prefer we bale that, too, so we probably will.  Maybe we will go into the winter with plenty of hay.

   I cleaned and made dinner, and afterward I rolled up the old hotwire on the west hill, and picked strawberries, while Shawn fixed the weedeater and cut weeds around the bee yard, and the boys fixed the muffler on the new truck.  It clouded over this evening, and there was thunder, but so far no rain.

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