Well, I made it back from our annual beach trip without a sunburn, jellyfish sting or any other injury from an ocean that is out to kill us all. Despite the perils of the salty deep, we had a great time. I did not escape completely unscathed, however.

The entire drive home from the coast, I was planning my afternoon. I was going to take a long shower, (because no matter how many showers you take at a beach house you never can get clean), and I was going to lie on the couch in my air-conditioned living room and spend the day in and out of sleep while watching TV. It was a good plan.

What I did not expect was to leave one shoreline and come home to another. The shoreline I came home to skirted the curb leading up to my house and was gently lapped by water running out of the garage and down the driveway. Ever the optimist, I thought maybe it just rained a lot, on my driveway and only my driveway. But, a quick glance at a nearby hanging basket, its plant withered and dying, quickly disproved my localized rain-storm theory.

I opened the door to the house to find the entire first floor covered in water. I started to sense that my afternoon plans were in jeopardy. I toyed with the idea of taking a quick shower, but decided against it, and turned off the water to the house. We salvaged what toys and books that had been on the ground and set them in the sun to dry as I got on the phone and attempted to get in touch with a plumber, a clean up crew, and my insurance company all on a Sunday afternoon. Surprisingly, I got a hold of all three and the process of gutting my house began.

The process still is going on to this day. We made it through the week of 40 fans, which dried out the house and drove me slowly crazy. Now we start on the rebuilding, which will be good in the long run. I keep telling myself that this whole ordeal is actually a blessing in disguise, and let me tell you, it is a very good disguise.

I had always sort of scoffed at insurance before all this happened. I always looked it as an expense that made my monthly house payment higher. But now I see the value, and boy am I glad I have it.

In our cover story, we look at the value of hay. Hay is also a big expense, but a necessary one, so it is important to get the most value you can from the hay you buy.

In addition to our cover story, we also have news from around the ag industry as well as information on upcoming events and sales. Hope you enjoy it and, as always, thanks for reading.

'Til next time,

For more information about content or advertising, contact Jesse Wright at jesse.wright@theeagle.com.

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