I’m sure there are a large number of individuals involved with agriculture who aren’t taking today off. For this, I say THANK YOU! Agriculture knows nothing but daily work (unless it’s raining). And, even then, there’s always something that can be done. Required maintenance on equipment and animals still need to be cared for regardless of the weather. Picnics, vacations and holidays are taken when there is a window of opportunity – not because it says so on the calendar.
As for this little piece of the Ag world, we’re sort of in limbo right now.
The acres that we had here in Jordan have all been cut. There was the possibility of doing more but Jim has opted to begin the cleanup and truck maintenance that he ALWAYS insists on doing when we finish here. He knows that once he gets home, any sort of truck maintenance would never get done if he waited and did it there. Instead, he will concentrate on getting geared up for corn and beans. By taking care of the trucks now, it also insures (somewhat) an uneventful trip home (hopefully). I absolutely HATE the major dirt removal that is insisted on when he decides it’s time to go home. It wasn’t so bad when the girls were still here with us and could help but that hasn’t happened for several years now. (I’m sure they miss this part of harvest.)
Usually (not always) newer equipment means no (or very little) down time. We’ve been fortunate that our combine and header haven’t caused us any trouble this summer. Thank goodness! If we would have had trouble with either one, it would mean the wheat isn’t being harvested in a timely and efficient manner for the farmer. It would also mean no income for the time it was not doing the job it’s intended to do. Therefore, I’m going to brag a little on the New Holland combine and the MacDon header. With only one of each, we depend on their consistency and dependability. And, for the most part, they deserve a high five and a pat on the back!
While we were in Denton, we had a minor issue come up with the combine. A shaft that is belt driven from the engine crankshaft either had a slight wobble in it or the pulley wasn’t true and it broke the bracket that holds a bearing. No, I didn’t know all this – I had to ask Jim. The first time the bracket broke, Ed welded it back for us and Jim was hopeful that would get us through until we got back home.
No such luck.
After cutting all day, Jim likes to blow the dirt off the combine with a leaf blower (thanks to a harvest friend for this secret) at the end of the day. One particular night while blowing, he realized the hopeful fix had broken again. Jim had ordered a new shaft after the first time the bracket broke – just in case. “I’ll see if I can get Burgess to weld the bracket back to the combine in the morning but you’ll have to help me with the shaft” “Ok, I can do that”, was my reply. “You’ll probably want to wear jeans because of where you’ll be”, says Jim. I guess he was just looking out for my legs because I usually wear shorts to the field.
Now, you may find this weird and maybe you won’t. As I was growing up, I would have rather been mechanic-ing with my grandpa or my dad more than anything. I LOVED taking things apart just to see if I could get them back together again. I suppose that would classify me as a “tomboy”? So, I was just a little excited to get to help do what had to be done.
This gives you an idea of what we were working on. See Jim’s nose? He was standing on a ladder on the outside of the combine while I was in the belly. We had to mount the bracket to the combine before putting the shaft and pulley back where they belonged.
Sometimes, I feel like the situation of just the two of us and the machinery is more than we should have taken on. I’m sure Jim wishes for a hired man – one who can offer more physical strength and help. However, I love being in the field with him working towards the same goal. I know I’m not as strong as a young man but I give ‘er my all and most times…that’s all it takes. I really think that’s what I hate the most about seeing the harvest journey being complete. He and I will be in different worlds again and won’t be working TOGETHER towards the same goal. It’s just different.
With that, I’m going to leave you with a couple of my favorite pictures to take. Sunsets – each one is different. A sunset is God’s incentive to get through the day and reward us with beauty only He can paint as today becomes our yesterday.
HAPPY LABOR DAY, 2013!
- Laboring on Labor Day (joyemarie.wordpress.com)
- Labor Day (theonething1721.com)
- Happy Labor Day (livingmylifeasiknowit.wordpress.com)
- Ashton Talks Labor…And I Have to Agree! (queenbvintagestudios.com)
- “binning” the grain (nebraskawheatie.com)
- Labor, Tradition, Today in Agriculture (slowmoneyfarm.wordpress.com)