It seems so weird to be sitting at my kitchen table typing this note!
Everyone asks me if it’s good to be home and I have to just flat out tell them that’s it’s good but it’s very overwhelming. They have no idea just how much work is involved with coming home. Preparing in the spring is hard but just so different. You have the anticipation of being on the road and involved with the harvest and all that goes with it. The stress of preparing the house to be locked up and the packing of the trailer house is nothing compared to coming home.
I find myself sort of walking in circles, trying to figure out what to do first. If I don’t mentally set a goal, I most likely will not get it accomplished because everywhere I look, I see work. I did get my house vacuumed and the dead bugs are now in the belly of the vacuum cleaner. Jim and I took advantage of the 90 degree weather yesterday and were able to get the outside of the trailer house cleaned of the road dirt and grime that had collected all summer. That’s a big job and one that I’m glad I can mark off my list of to do’s!
Tomorrow, I’m escaping the mess that looks at me every morning and we’re going to Husker Harvest Days with Jim, Mark, Candi, Jamie, Curt, and Jenna. The chaos will have to wait another day! Not only do I have the deluge of work continuing to pull me down, I have to try to keep up with the outside activities. Yesterday, I substituted for the morning and afternoon bus route. This afternoon, I got to go watch Callie play volleyball. I love to watch the girls participate so it was a welcome break to have to walk away from everything at 4:00. The next goal I have set is to get the trailer house unpacked. I’ll begin that chore on Thursday. It looks like colder and wetter weather is headed for us beginning tomorrow. The numerous steps and times of going between the house and the trailer house will be a little less sweaty with the cooler weather.
So a brief recall of the final days of the 2011 wheat harvest goes a little like this: As you’ll recall, we spent the night in the Garfield Motel. I had to get up the next morning for a 5:00 a.m. conference call. While I was involved with the call, Jim got up and headed for Fellman’s for “story time” with the locals. When he returned, we decided that we really needed to take a couple of hours and go visit some very dear friends before we left the country. So we did! It was well after noon by the time we got back to Jordan. One final meal at Rose’s cafe and we were headed for Miles City. Since we got such a late start, we ended up spending the night in the truck lot of the station in Alzada, MT.
Have you ever tried sleeping on a twin size bed with another person? Thank goodness I’m used to sleeping on the side of the bed that puts me up against the wall of the truck sleeper! I’m afraid if “my side” of the bed was on the other side of the bed, I’d be falling out all night long! This first night was fairly chilly and the heavy blanket felt pretty darn good by morning!
The second full day on the road was pretty darn full of driving! We had to go a little different route than normal because of so many bridges being worked on in South Dakota. As we started coming into the town of Faith, SD, another harvest crew got ahead of us. I was so excited. Silly, I know, but here we go…it’s a part of the harvest world I was about to leave. It just gave me a good feeling being behind the combines and their trailers. We made a stop at 1880 Town and ate lunch in the Dining Car Cafe. It’s a real live dining car from a passenger train and a different era. It was something I’d never seen and loved being inside something that once was an important aspect of past travel. We ate lunch, walked around a little and left an hour later than when we stopped. The second night on the road was spent in the Valentine truck stop, again.
Before we parked for the night, Jim pulled quite a ways away from the bar that had just a week prior been the reason we didn’t get a very good nights sleep. I was glad that he’d remembered and pulled as far away from there as he could. What we didn’t expect was a bull hauler full of cattle pull up right next to us. We got to listen to a truck load of stomping cattle all night. I felt sorry for the cattle, as I laid there listening to them, because they couldn’t relax. I bet they were glad when their trip was done!
We made it back to the farmer’s yard almost exactly the same time we had the week prior. This time, though, they were home and wanted to visit about the summer and how it played out for us. We made it “home home” again about 7:00. Mark and Candi had just pulled in from Park River, ND. They had driven all day and made it home just about the same time as we did. They loaded up the girls and we went to Runza for supper together. We’re all back home! And…one of these days, everything will be back to normal and the 2011 wheat harvest will feel like it only happened in pictures. We’ll be anxiously counting down our yearly events until it’s time to head south once again!
The combine’s loaded and waiting for the window cover to be added.
That job’s done!
The top picture was taken in Ed’s yard just before we left. The tractor shows the farmer’s determination and hope in a crop for next summer!
Goodbye Square Butte and Montana wheat fields. Sure hope to see you next year!
Crossing the Mussellshell River into Garfield County.
Sand Springs, MT. In 1983, we stayed here while cutting for Charlie Murnion.
The last picture taken in Jordan just before heading for Miles City.
The lot we spent the first night on the road in Alazada, MT. The town of Alzada is on the right.
Following another harvester into the town of Faith, SD.
Lunch and a break near 1880 Town along the South Dakota interstate between Phillip and Murdo.
Lunch in the Dining Car Cafe.
I don’t know a lot about the sunflower crop except there’s quite a few more acres seen than there used to be. Something that I find interesting is the sunflower head will actually follow the sun from east to west. Every sunflower head I saw must have completed it’s life cycle with the head facing east. Every field I saw, they had completed their final sun worship at exactly the same time. Another interesting tidbit I’ve often thought about when seeing the corn fields is just how identical the height of the plants are and that the ears are located exactly the same spot of the plant throughout the entire field. And somebody wants to try to tell me there is no God?
The final night of being on the road was spent at the truck stop in Valentine, NE.
The new Nebraska windmills.
The Platte River just south of Schuyler, NE.