a change in the fleet

IMG_7849It’s the same thing every year – as long as I remember…”when will you be heading south”? I’ve jokingly said we need to create two signs. The first one we should either wear or carry around says, “I don’t know for sure” and the other one “it wasn’t a vacation”.

Preparations for harvest 2015 have begun. Slow but sure. Jim has never been lucky enough to have a nice shed to work in. He is at the mercy of the weather. If it’s raining, the outside work is put on hold and something else picked up until the sun is shining.  As you can tell from the picture, we’ve had a few good days.

Jim bought himself a birthday present – a service body for the new used pickup. Last summer while we were in Montana, we bought the pickup with intentions of turning it into a REAL service truck. So the morning of his birthday, he got up really early to make a trip to LCL Truck Equipment in Hastings.

We’ve had two “service” pickups in our harvesting career. The first one was the 1975 pickup we purchased at the sale of another harvester, Pete Peters. That pickup created quite a lot of memories for our family and we STILL have it.

IMG_7855These two pictures were taken the summer of 1992. This would have been Mark’s first summer as our hired man. Have you read “Mark’s Story“? This was also the same year we sat in Norton, KS for 30 days due to rain. UGH!!


IMG_78571993 – before there were 4. 

The ’75 was the first pickup Jamie drove. She was pretty young when she started following the combine from field to field. We were just remembering some of her finer times in that pickup on Easter. The first one that comes to mind is the first time she drove it all by herself. This was in Lodgepole, NE. She couldn’t quite sit back in the seat and reach the gas pedal so Jim rolled up a couple of sweatshirts to put behind her back. It was bloody hot the afternoon Jim told her she was going to follow the combine. She did great! When they reached their destination, Jim was so excited for her and how well she did! He approached the pickup to congratulate her only to realize she had driven the entire time with the windows rolled up. With concern in his voice, he asked her, “Jamie, why didn’t you roll the windows down”? Her reply was, “I didn’t think of it”. I’m sure she was so intent on doing a good job, she didn’t even think about stopping the pickup and rolling down those windows.

The next memory was her following the combine south of Norton, KS. The roads are windy and hilly. Jim was keeping an eye on her via the mirror when all at once he watched her head for the edge of the road and a steep embankment. He had his hand on the two-way ready to ask her what she was doing when all at once, she jerked the pickup back towards the center of the road. It was then that he asked her what in the world she was doing. “There was a fly on my leg and it was biting me”.

The ’75 Ford was retired in 2000 and the 1993 extended cab was purchased and turned into the service truck – until now. Now…we have a REAL service pickup. And he’s a bit overwhelmed with where to put things. I can relate. I know how overwhelming it is just changing purses. I also remember what it was like moving stuff from one Cottage on Wheels to another. I guarantee he’ll move things around a half-dozen times before it works right for him. I’m glad for him. It’s a step up for our fleet and something that will be loved from now until we retire.  The big question is…what will its name be?


IMG_7853All of this needs to be transferred to this:

IMG_7854And, before more harvest preps are shared, I need to recreate a few of the other events that have happened over the past four months. How can it be the middle of April already? I’ve not taken the time to share pictures of my trip to Phoenix with Jenna, Easter, Eli’s birthday or even Prom. I’ve got a bit of work to do!

6 comments on “a change in the fleet

  1. Have another great run you guys! Love to follow the journey ech time!

  2. Hi great post even thou harvest 6 week away cant start to early. Know what Jim goes through remember working on trucks and corn sheller in zero windy weather. Got first shop in 80s and lighting hit it 5 -6 years later.What a mess to clean up. Built new shop 4 years ago but still like to work out side every thing you do inside you have to clean up after. I know he will be ready in time.

  3. Tom Stegmeier says:

    Great move on the service truck , it will be big time saver.Our first official trap wagon ( service truck) came to being in 74, a 69 chev 1/2 ton . It was also my shag’n wag’n soooo I would have get it all cleaned up before a weekend date & have put all tools, oil & other goodies back in it next morning!!

  4. Amanda Truckey says:

    I happened to stumble across your blog by accident, and have been browsing on it all night. I love hearing about another woman’s life on harvest and all the things that go along with it. I work for a large custom harvesting and farming company in north central Nebraska, and I’m the only girl that works in the shop and goes on the road. Definitely makes for some interesting stories and experiences. Looking forward to your next post!

    • Nebraska Wheatie says:

      I’m so glad you found me! 🙂 And excited that I’ll have a fellow harvester along for the ride. Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.

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