One of the events that I have come to really enjoy being a part of is the Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters, Inc. convention. It isn’t the warmest location in the world to vacation in December BUT it certainly brings together a lot of great people. And…it shouldn’t surprise you. Custom harvesters (regardless of the country they call home) are a different breed of people – some of the best you’ll ever meet and good to surround yourself with.
Jim and I left for Lethbridge, Alberta on Tuesday morning. I waited until the last-minute to pack (like I always seem to do) and Jim set the alarm for 3:00 a.m. The flight left at 6:00 a.m. I went to bed at 1:30. “Good, this will give me an hour and a half to catch some sleep”, or so I thought. I woke up at 2:00 and felt like I had been sleeping for hours. Who knows why I woke up – maybe I was afraid we were going to sleep through the alarm? Tuesday felt like it lasted an entire week. I would catch myself wondering, “did this really just happen this morning”?
The meeting is much smaller than they were anticipating. Unfortunately, the weather decided to take a turn for the worse and a blizzard moved into Lethbridge late Monday afternoon/evening. People were actually surprised that we made it in. Our flight was even 20 minutes earlier than it was supposed to be. So, by the time we got to our final destination, most of the snow removal had already started. This morning, the “feels like” temperature was -46 degrees Farenheit. Jim was mad at himself for not stepping outside to experience the extreme cold. I told him to go for it. (he didn’t, though)
Yesterday, Shannon Gross was one of the guest speakers. Her grandfather, Ted Quaschnick, was part of the 1949 caravan of Canadian custom harvesters who came to the American farmer’s rescue after World War II. She shared with us the following video. I found it telling the same story of today’s custom harvester. Oh…the equipment has changed and the living quarters are a little better. If you watch it, you’ll see what I mean. Thank you, Shannon, for sharing this rare view into our industry’s beginnings.
The one thing I found most interesting was the fanfare and celebration the caravan received once they reached their destination in Texas. Please take 15 minutes and watch – I think you’ll be glad you did!
We will be heading home again on Sunday morning. It’s been great to be a part of our Northern counterpart’s annual gathering. And we won’t see most of them again until we come back next year. But, as with our own convention and annual gathering, we may be competition but when we’re together, we’re friends because we’re custom harvesters – the salt of the earth!
- frank, pete and the yellow beast are now settled in for a long winter’s nap (nebraskawheatie.com)
- GALLERY: Digging out from the Lethbridge blizzard (globalnews.ca)
- Big chill descends on southern Alberta (globalnews.ca)
- happy wheatie reading! (nebraskawheatie.com)