The Last Windrow: On days like this, be sure to heed the warnings
"Mama said there'll be days like this! ... Mama said, Mama said!"
Those of us who were around in the early 1960s probably remember that tune sung by the Shirelles, later sung by a number of other famous artists. It was one of my favorite tunes at the time, which really dates me, but I don't care.
My mom, and for that matter my dad and all the relatives and adult friends around me, did tell me that there would be days that didn't go just right. In fact, they warned me about numerous obstacles that would be tossed in front of me as I made the journey through the years.
I found those warnings somewhat depressive to a boy who could see nothing but bright skylines.
The world is full of warnings. There are signs on the back of tractors, there are warning signs on bags of corn seed, there are signs on public bathroom walls. Signs everywhere warning us of danger ahead.
I just got off my lawnmower after starting it up after its long winter's nap. There are warning labels on just about every corner of the machine. It won't even let you get off the seat without beeping a warning. I'm looking for the disconnection wire.
Holstein milk cows didn't come with warning labels. But, you were warned before you applied the milking machines if she kicked or not. If a Holstein had warning signs attached, there wouldn't be room left for the black and white spots.
Spring field work is at hand in the farmland and big machines will soon be heading across the fields pulling huge equipment. My experience with farm machinery was at a much lower level. I wasn't afforded a tractor cab with a roll bar. I was exposed to whatever danger that orange Allis Chalmers WD could whip up.
My dad warned me not to turn too sharp while pulling a section drag. If the drag caught on the rear tractor tire - well, let's just say you might have ended up like a speared northern pike.
I was warned not to load the hay buck too heavy and not to raise the buck too high when I brought the buck load of hay up across the road. I disobeyed both warnings and ended up with our Model A John Deere lying on its side with one rear wheel spinning in the Iowa sky.
Luckily I felt the tractor begin to tip and I bailed off the seat and landed 20 feet away. It was a bit embarrassing to witness my parents running over the road to see if their eldest had bit the dust. I was happy to see they were relieved!
After a time one learned to listen to warnings. Too many accident reports came across the radio of some farmer who got caught in a power take-off or who tipped his machine into a ditch and didn't make it out. One learned to heed warnings lest they become a statistic.
We have received many warnings over the past three weeks. Warnings that some have chosen to shun. I'm not one of them. When I hear of those who have experienced this potent virus, I take heed. My wife actually just finished sewing a face mask for each of our family. Even though I look like a goof, at least I might be a live goof. That's worth a lot if I want to climb into my fishing boat again this summer.
Heed the warnings my friends. We will get through this devilish situation. If only we could put one of those yellow warning labels on the foreheads of those who are passing on the disease. I think then we would maybe come awake.
"Mama said there'll be days like this!"
See you next time. Okay? And, stay healthy!