the past six weeks in a nutshell – part 2

The next days of being home meant unloading the Cottage. You have to remember that when we left in June, I had basically loaded everything I would need from our house into the Cottage. The house was closed up to everyone and everything EXCEPT the spiders. They apparently went to work overtime this summer in making our home their home. The first thing I needed to do was recapture my home and send those nasty little devils on a hike (thanks to the vacuum cleaner)! Cleaning the Cottage is so much easier!

On Saturday morning, we were up early with a destination of Boone, IA – we being Curt, Jamie, Eli, Jim and me. Earlier in the summer, Jamie and I had purchased tickets to ride the train knowing how obsessed Eli is with trains. It was going to be Eli’s day of “go go’s”. I couldn’t wait to see his reaction once we got to the depot and he would see the trains. The day was gorgeous! A bit of a summery heat but it was better than too chilly!

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the past six weeks in a nutshell

It’s been six weeks.  Did you miss me?

The one true reason I started writing in the first place was to provide my family a written document of what has taken place at this time in history. I print my blogs from year to year so some day they will have something to look back on. I sort of blew it.

It actually feels a lot longer ago than just six weeks, to tell you the truth. We got home from Montana with the final load on September 23. And then it began…as though I had never left. The real world took over and the clock (and calendar) won out! My days have been full – too full! Could we just step back and jump into that harvest world again? No? You mean I really will have to wait for six more months to be back in my Cottage on Wheels?

What I’d really like to do is jump back into blogging beginning with today. Well, maybe a week ago would be better. However, my brain would never allow me to do that. You see, to begin now with the end-of-the-harvest story never really being told, well…that’s just not right. So, I’m going to step back to the point I left off and tell the story. I suppose, because sometimes I get long-winded, I may have to break this up for you. BUT, if I stop writing, I may never finish. So, I’ll keep writing and writing and when it becomes too long for one post, I will just continue it to the next day. Deal? Deal!

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condensing the journey

img_13812As the water swirled down the kitchen sink, I became aware that it was probably the last sink of dishes I will do in the Cottage in 2014. Suddenly everything I do tonight takes on a whole different feel.

Yep, the 2014 harvest journey is officially over. Tomorrow morning will be the first trip headed in the direction of home. The Beast will be waiting for our return in a few days.

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a generation who can’t let it happen again

I can’t believe it’s been 13 years.

In March, the Z Crew made a trip to New York City. And, of course, the one place we all agreed to visit was the 9/11 Memorial. So, today takes on a whole different feel after actually standing on the same ground where so many died. Being in the city and seeing for myself how it is laid out helped me to understand how chaotic it must have been. But really…how could I know? I wasn’t there.

IMG_3507This was the first time I had ever been in New York so the skyline of the past wasn’t being missed. I didn’t know any different.

Just as there is a generation who don’t know what our world and our country was like prior to 9/11. They don’t know any different.

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hyperemesis gravidarum (HG)

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I was going to post pictures of our first day of the three we spent in the mountains but something else felt like it needed to be shared.

This morning, I woke up to the news that Kate Middleton was pregnant again. About an hour later, Jamie texted me, “Kate Middleton is having another baby. Parallel lives.”

I loved Princess Diana. I think that weird sort of love for her and her life was because she and I were so close in age. I always thought it was sort of “cool” to think about how similar we were and yet so very, very different. She was a Princess, for crying out loud! We continued our parallel lives with our weddings and babies (my two older girls). I was devastated when I learned of her death on Sunday, August 31, 1997. The girls and I were sitting in the little Lutheran Church in Jordan when it was announced. I remember the immediate sick feeling I felt in the pit of my stomach.  How could this be? I felt like I had lost a good friend.

Years later, the parallel lives continue with Jamie and Prince William. Married the same month/same year (April 2011), 1st baby within months of each other (2013) and now pregnancy #2 at the same time. Parallel lives.

Poor Kate! I feel so sorry for her – for anyone who is so sick with their pregnancy that it feels like it would be easier to die. I know.

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it’s a wrap

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Wheat harvest 2014 is complete for the Z Crew.

A bittersweet farewell to something that has been a day-to-day adventure…whether sitting in the Cottage waiting for the rain to let up or out in the field…for the past 79 days. If you’ve followed us from the beginning, you know it was a late start due to drought and late season freezes. We made it to Kansas on June 18th. Our typical summer runs 110+ days. It will be good to get back home and be reunited with the rest of the family. But leaving the harvest world is difficult for me. I’ve written about this several times in the past. I don’t know why and I can’t seem to put a finger on it.  Soon, though, we’ll be home, home and it will feel like the harvest journey never even happened. It’s because of this that I enjoy going back through my posts and reading what we did on a particular day or in a particular area.

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and those montana sunsets!

photo 1 (6)Yesterday was the 12th day since the rains began and we finally got rolling again.

While we were still in our waiting-for-the-ground-to-dry period, Jim surprised me with a trip to the mountains. We left Friday afternoon and got back early evening on Tuesday. I’ll have more to share about that when I can get caught up on the piles sitting all around me. For now, though, the Beast is eating wheat again and that’s a good thing! Most everyone you visit with here will tell you they’ve never experienced anything quite like the rain we had. Jim’s been a bit worried about what the ground was going to be like – rightfully so – but we’re moving along quite well. Just to make sure we didn’t need it, we brought the tow rope to the field with us. And, so far so good!

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the color green

Yesterday, Jim and I spent most of the day inside the Cottage. Well…maybe I should say I did. Jim, on the other hand, started doing some of the going-home chores that he normally does AFTER we finish cutting. Things like change oil in the pickups, grease whatever needs greased and preparing for the 900+ mile trip “home, home”.

It was about 4:30 when he walked through the door and announced he was going to take a trip out to the combine. That trip is about 40 miles. “Give me a second to finish what I’m doing and I’ll ride along”, I said. It didn’t take me long to finish typing what I was typing, shut off the internet, throw on my shoes and walk out the door.

Gosh, it felt good to get out of there and head back down the roads that we had been travelling daily until the rains began just a week ago today (Friday).  The day was beautiful and the sky seemed extra blue and clear. Once we got just west of Jordan, I noticed it…the color green. It was only seven days ago the color was brown. The desert had come to life after that life-giving rain we had. Jordan was blessed with about half her normal year’s rainfall in just two days.

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four hours

IMG_4544Friday morning began just like any other day except we were up against heavy clouds and cool temps. I had left Frank parked near the grain bins for the night so Jim dropped me off and then he headed to where the Beast had spent the night. While I waited for the air to build and the truck to “warm up”, I took a quick walk over to a dugout I had seen. I cautiously walked through the tall grass hoping I wouldn’t be surprised by any sort of critter. As I walked towards the mound, I wondered if it had been someone’s homestead – someone’s home. I couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like to live in something like that.  Had it been warm while the north winds of winter were blocking the door with snow? Did that same door keep critters out? What would it have been like during the hot months of summer?

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