I have a new job!  I should clarify that it’s a temporary one, lasting only until the end of corn harvest.  I weigh silage as it comes in on big trucks “out on the farm”.  I hopped out of bed this morning with enthusiasm and went through an abbreviation of my usual, more leisurely, morning routine.  Not to forget the Bible verse assigned for this week by my study program!  I had written it down yesterday, after considering it a bit.  An imprecatory prayer.  Hmm.  I don’t usually memorize those because I’m always a bit uncertain who I should be thinking of when I pray it.  Nevertheless, I slipped the verse into my tiny Mongolian pouch (a simple gift from someone dear to me) with the long cord.  It dangles lightly from my shoulder, making the tasty, biblical morsel readily accessible. There would surely be some times of inactivity between truck loads when I could peek at the verse and begin praying it, meditating on it and memorizing it.

Weighing silage is pretty far removed from anything I’ve ever done.  The first few hours of training found me on a steep learning curve.  By the afternoon, though, I had most of it down.  Truck in on the scale.  Write vendor number and truck number on ticket.  Insert ticket in machine.  Punch vendor number and commodity into the machine after hitting the “start” key.  “Tick tick tick tick…”  All pertinent information is printed on the ticket.  I manually record certain key numbers in a couple different places, give the driver a thumbs up, and off he goes to unload.

Trucks come back empty, too, and they must be weighed.  A different set of numbers are punched onto this load’s ticket.  Before he takes off, I run out the door to catch a baggie containing a sample from his load, attach the right sticker to it and place it in a particular spot and order so that it will be included in the correct “batch” to be sent away for analysis.  

Upon my arrival I was told this would be the busiest day because they had three cutters running and loads would be coming in from three different fields.  I had nothing to compare it to, but it sure was busy!  Neither my colleague nor I had time to take two consecutive bites of food all day before a truck came or went.  Then there were the lines!  Sometimes they all came at once!  In, in, out, in, in, out, out, in, out — they bore down on us from two directions for hours!  Whew!  But it was fun, after all!

Toward the end of the day, the other employees left and I was alone to do the work.  I looked left.  Nobody coming.  I looked right.  Nobody coming.  “Hey!  I have time to look at my verse!”  I drew it out of the pouch and had a chance to read it, aloud, just as another load rounded the corner towards my scale:

O our God, will you not execute judgment on them?  For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

II Chron. 20:12  

I kid you not.

4 thoughts on “Silage Days

  1. Dear cousin Paul,
    You successfully stood up to those hordes! All day!
    But you never mentioned the scents coming from those loads of hay. Hmm
    Love you!!


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