Well, I can tell right now this is going to take way longer than the battery on this laptop has. I should have made sure it was fully charged before leaving! You know…sometimes things just don’t happen as you intend on them happening! I have so many pictures of the past week which I’d like to share with you. Unfortunately, I just don’t have enough time with the slow speed of downloading and the short battery life. I will post more, though, when we get home. For now, though, I’ll give you a brief (if I can) explanation of what’s happened.
So, parts 3 & 4 of this adventure began a week ago Saturday. We left Jordan that afternoon and made it as far as Belle Fourche. At this point, we had come full circle from the beginnings of our Montana adventure.
The heat was on!! Holy cow, summer was letting us know it just wasn’t ready to be done yet. When we went through Valentine, NE, it was 100 degrees. By the time we reached O’Neill, NE the humidity level increased to the utmost uncomfortable level. This was as far as we were going for the day. We pulled into the fairgrounds and hooked the cottage up to electricity and water. We were able to enjoy air conditioning and a shower – score! On top of that, there were other harvesters there for the night. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the combines parked and – even better – the trailer houses were camped next to us. Getting to chat with a fellow harvester seems to be few and far between for us. So when we have the chance, it’s a real treat. Lucky for me, I got that 15 minute chat!
We made it “home, home” later that afternoon. I believe it was close to 3:00 or so when we pulled into the driveway. We hauled several coolers of frozen meat from the Jordan locker home. We’ve done this for several years. This year, we had another cooler full for Curt and Jamie’s freezer, as well. So, once we got home, getting that meat in the freezers was our main concern. And…turning on the air conditioner and water to the house. The air conditioner was a piece of cake. The water, however, took a turn for the worse! The 1,000 year old knob broke off in Jim’s hand when he tried turning it back on. No water. Jim says, “this is going to be a longer process than just replacing a knob”. Great! So, we improvise (like harvesters are so good at doing). We ran garden hose from our neighbor’s house (thanks Tom & Linda) to our cottage (on wheels). Next on our list was to go see the kids. It was so good to see everyone again! It had been nearly six weeks since Taylor and Callie left for home – the first of July since we’d seen Curt, Jamie and Eli. Eli had no clue who we were. I didn’t expect him to remember us. Poor little guy wasn’t feeling the best, either. But, by the time we left their house that evening, he was smiling at us.
We were going to take the next day and try to get a few things taken care of before leaving for Montana again. Jamie and Eli came over and spent the day. Somewhere in the middle of the morning, Jim decided to hook more garden hose to the ones he already had running from our neighbor’s to get water directly to the house. All was fine and dandy until he realized water was running somewhere in the house and shouldn’t be. It was at this point he remembered that he had forgotten to shut off a valve in the basement and quickly ran down the steps to shut it – just not quick enough. Water went all over the pantry. “Uh, Tracy, I had a fresh water mess in the basement that needs attention”, he says. I was busy rocking Eli and wasn’t too concerned until he came back several minutes later and said it probably should be looked at. So, I went downstairs to see what had happened. There was water all over – even inside drawers of cupboards. I wasn’t real happy, to say the least. So, my attention went from Eli to a water mess that needed my attention (something I wasn’t intending on having to do). The rest of the day was filled with going through mail, doing what was necessary to be gone for a week and then going to Curt and Jamie’s for supper. The day went way too fast!
On Wednesday morning, we intended on getting up early, packing our bags and heading for Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island. We wanted to see Jenna before heading north again. Jenna has been gone nearly all summer attending various farm shows all over the country with CLAAS. If we were going to see her before the middle of October, we were going to have to get to HHD’s! Besides seeing Jenna, we ran into Dan and Emma Misener (Leslie and Dave, too). There was no way I was going to see all of the sights simply because I kept running into people I knew. Jim finally left me to see things he wanted to see. It was a great reunion of people involved with harvest and the custom harvesting industry! I thoroughly enjoyed my day. We spent the night with Jenna, giving us more time to get caught up on things with her.
I better hurry – I only have 1/2 hour of battery left!
The next day was spent making our way to Lusk, WY to visit the Graham’s. It just wouldn’t be complete without getting to visit that family for a little while! And…a little while is all we got. We tried talking Jim into spending one more day with them but it was a “no go”. We made it to Jordan Friday evening.
After getting our room at the Garfield Hotel, we headed to the country to visit more friends who we hadn’t seen yet for the year. Jim and Mardrie will forever be more than friends – they’re family. That’s a story in itself and I think I’m going to quit for now. If I’m going to get this finished and posted, I better just let you know we are in our final stages of the 2013 journey. Tonight we are spending the night in the “Hotel Pete” in the lot of a truck stop just south of Pierre, SD. To be continued…