A friend of mine just said this to me,
“May is the “under-told” story for WHOA!”
She’s right! The “under-told” story of WHOA…Women Harvesters of America. She just created that acronym and I’m thinking it might stick!
May is hard on most harvesters. This is the month of preparation and deadlines. It’s also full of uncertainties:
A. When is the money going to be depleted? This is the worst month for spending. Most harvesters are as broke as they’ll ever be this month. A lot of expenses going out and NOTHING coming in.
B. When will the farmer want you in his yard? This, of course, depends on the weather. How soon will the wheat be ready? How long will the rain hold off? The estimated date of departure seems to change on a daily basis.
C. How much preparation do you do before you finally just hit the road? Guys can “tinker” on equipment as much and as long as they have the time. It gets to the point, though, when you just have to put the tools away and load the combine!
D. Will all the help show up when needed? The stress of employees must be a minute by minute worry for a lot of harvesters. Finding quality people willing to take on the job is getting harder and harder to find. We are fortunate not to have to deal with this.
For the gals, it’s usually a different sort of uncertainty (depending on the above). We’ve still got to go on with our daily routines of being moms, being involved with school and church, preparing for graduations, taking care of an elderly parent or neighbor, etc. until the day of departure. All this PLUS getting a trailer house cleaned and packed, feeding the crew, mowing the yard and everything else it takes to shut down a house for the extended “vacation”.
Most of the last minute packing and leaving stress is saved for the day(s) just prior to leaving. When the trailer house and the combine are headed out the drive, it’s a relief.
In the meantime, life as usual must happen AS WELL AS getting ready to head south.
Today, I am spending my day in the little town of Adams with the Jr. High track team. Yep, I had to put on my bus driver hat. All I can think about is everything I should be doing to prepare for Callie’s graduation. I still have a week. And all the while I’m thinking of this, Jim is preparing for the day of departure. I’m sort of in denial for both events. I’m guessing, though, they’ll both happen whether I’m really mentally ready or not. So, I may as well just march right on through both.
Small town Nebraska. I decided a walk through town would be a must before the anticipated high of nearly 90°. This town reminds me of the small towns we call home during the harvest run. It has all anyone needs to survive without the hassles of the big city!
I remember a particular time that Zeorian Harvesting had to make a sudden detour to the basement of the cafe here in Adams.
As we left home, we realized the clouds were looking a bit scary to the SW. But it was time to leave. As we were heading further south and further away from home, the clouds were getting angrier and angrier. All the while we were driving, Jim’s sister and my mom were tracking the tornadic storm for us (prior to iPhones and radar apps). The final call from one of them was to tell us we were driving right into it. We pulled off the highway and parked the equipment next to the grain bins just outside of town. That’s when the tornado sirens sounded. The girls were scared and I was a bit concerned too.
We jumped in the pickup and headed for main street. The only business that we could see which might allow strangers at this time of day was the cafe. We parked the pickup and ran inside. Thankfully, they had a basement and we were all ushered down the steps to safety. The storm blew to the north of this little town but I will forever have that memory etched in my mind. And every time we pass Adams, I think of that night. Thank you, Adams (and cafe owner) for taking care of strangers when the need occurred.
I enjoyed walking the streets of this little Nebraska town this morning. Seeing the flowers and smelling the freshly cut grass. The stress of the upcoming days disappeared for a fleeting moment.
Looks like a picture I took by mistake, right? Nope! Did you ever throw these maple seeds up in the air just to watch time twirl to the ground? Such great kid fun!
The amount of work that needs to be done now until we drive out that driveway is crazy. How it all gets done is beyond me. Lots of late nights, I guess. Yes, May is truly the under-told story for the harvester family!