I get a whole new appreciation for the harvest crew this year. I am driving combine again instead of the feed-us-fill-in-can-you?-girl. While driving that big ‘ole machine has its perks, it also means being in the field all day. (Well, duh!).
Dan and I seemed to be too occupied with stuff to eat, so we ate the lunches I packed at breakfast after we’d got home…at 11:30 pm. Thank goodness it rained so I don’t have to hurry this am.
Yesterday, my little Leslie took care of his granny. He hightailed it over to my combine to wipe my windows clear of the dust.
It was hard to get a quality photo since he worked so quickly! But you get the idea. Love that little guy!
What can I say? All harvesters relate to early up, quick eat, get on the road. Wheat needs cutting! Where’s lunches? Water jug? Hat? Gloves and sunglasses? What’s the lineup on the road? Do you have your radio to channel one or two? Finally at the field. Hook up heads and cut a place for the grain trucks, service truck, and for granny in the pickup. Get a sample, take it to the elevator for “official” word. A cautionary okay, “It’s 13.2 moisture, 54 pounds test weight. Don’t get a whole semi full of wet, green wheat, so watch it carefully”.
“How’s the sample look to you?”, he asks. “I think the kernels are very small. Not big plump kernels like we’d really like”. My eyes are itchy, too. Gotta get back in the groove!
Lauren (10) wants so badly to be the grain cart driver again this year. Martha (9) just wants to ride with Uncle Dan. And Leslie (8) thinks he can handle the combining!! How awesome it is to witness the enthusiasm of my grandchildren. They are simply marvelous. Leslie is wondering when Emma will get here to drive her combine and why is Dan driving number one? Emma always drives that one. Emma…sweet Emma, is on to new horizons working with Alzheimer’s patients in Kansas and isn’t planning on coming to harvest. “Well,” he says, ” that’s just dumb!” Bet she is missing it a bit. Can’t get the harvest out of the girl even if the girl is out of harvest! And Leslie knows what to do while waiting his turn.
Our first job cutting wheat is a couple of days away from being ready, so Dan and I took a short drive to Vernon, Texas this afternoon. We saw a lot of wheat but very little being harvested. Only two crews were actually cutting.
We stopped and got cherry limeades for Kent’s crew, then headed out to the field they were cutting. All of them were surprised and grateful, but I think the truck drivers especially so!
As we drove through Altus, we saw a New Holland Harvest Support pickup. I wonder how many people even know who those folks are, or how much they do? Then, I began to think of all the folks who contribute to the production, harvest, transportation and preparation of our food. I would bet we’d all be surprised at the numbers.
Of course, the minute we arrived at the field, Dan was itching to get in the combine cab with Kent. Didn’t take them long to start making rounds! Don’t feel sorry for me…I’m sitting in the pickup. A very pleasant breeze is blowing through the cab. It’s about 85 degrees, I have some coffee in my HarvestHer cup, and a book. I never go anywhere without reading material! I learned that, as a very young bride, if with a farmer/harvester, it’s good to come to the field or on a road trip prepared!!
It’s the same here with Kent’s crew as everywhere, “Mom, can you take the truck drivers back to the last field and to the farmer’s yard to get all the trucks moved to the next field? And then go into Vernon and pick up some supper? Here’s Kent’s credit card. We’ll be fine with whatever you find”. Can do that! It’s what I do best. Guess my book will have to wait til I get back to the field. (When they’ll only have a half hour or 4 more rounds to finish the field – you get the picture!) I really don’t mind. It’s part of my calling!!