The days have been long.
Since my last post, we’ve moved to Limon, Colorado – higher elevation, cool nights and no biting flies (oh…and a view of Pikes Peak from the field). Since six days have already come and gone, I’ll take this one day at a time and get caught up.
Sunday, July 6
Jenna’s last day. I knew this day would come and as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, it came too fast. She came out to the field and spent a couple of hours with us before she finished her day in the wheat field with Mat before heading home. She made it home about midnight.
The flies were horrible! They literally swarmed us, had a sharp bite and wouldn’t go away. When I picked up my water jug and lunchbox, they wouldn’t leave. So, I twirled in a circle hoping I would confuse them before I opened the door of the Pete. I told Jenna this and she replied, “I wish I could have seen that”. I bet she does because I’m certain it would have made her laugh.
Taylor and Callie made it! They were nearly here when Jenna left so they all met up with each other in Scott City for a brief supper date at Wendy’s. By the time we got in from the field, they had most of their belongings unpacked from the van (no Nasty this year due to the air conditioner quitting) and already put away. So good to have them here!
Monday, July 7
We finished our last field this evening. As harvest is, we had an opportunity to pick up more work and thought we had time to do it before our move to Limon. We got the call from Jack, though, telling us they were going to start cutting by the end of the week. So, I went from being excited about the fact that maybe we’d be able to make up a few of the many lost acres from earlier in the season to having to gear up for the move.
Tuesday, July 8
Clean up day. And it was a good day for this job. It was breezy and somewhat cool. The girls and I helped clean the header and pulled straw off the combine. Jim used the air compressor to finish blowing off the dirt and chaff. After the Beast was clean, Jim and Taylor loaded the combine while Callie and I skipped rocks at the pond.
Jim and Taylor got up before sunrise to head for Limon. It felt good knowing that I’d have the whole day to get what I needed done, done. Callie and I would hang out at the Cottage and maybe even make a trip to Garden City. She likes McDonald’s…I’ll take her to McDonald’s for lunch. Then, the phone rang at 10:30 a.m. It was Jim. I could hear people talking in the background and my stomach instantly felt sick. I could sense a tone of anxiousness in his voice and I didn’t want to hear what he was going to tell me. I just knew he was going to tell me there had been a wreck. After going through the emotions of his wreck over a year ago, I didn’t know if I was ready to hear that again. “Can you or Callie grab the spare key for the Dually and bring it to Sharon Springs”? I was so relieved! But he said it like it was only five miles away. Sharon Springs was 120 miles – one way. So much for the laid back day. Cal and I immediately gathered what we needed and walked out the door. This was 10:30. We were back to Garden before 4:00.
Jim and Taylor had breakfast at our favorite restaurant in Sharon Springs. When they came out to leave, Taylor decided she was going to tack a couple of her All Aboard business cards on their bulletin board. When she ran back out to get in the Dually, she realized the doors were locked and she could see the keys in the cup holder. I felt sorry for her because I’m sure she was beating herself up. Oh well…
Shortly after we got back to the Cottage, Conrad and Jodi Weaver stopped by for a brief visit. They were in Dodge City attending the 3i Show and presenting The Great American Wheat Harvest. It was good to see them and I enjoyed our visit! It seems so weird not having Conrad around as much as he has been the past couple of years.
Thursday, July 10
By the time Jim settled up with our farmer and we got hooked up, we didn’t leave the driveway until 10:30. We, again, stopped at the same restaurant in Sharon Springs for lunch. The day was a hot one! It always seems to be one of the hotter days when we head for Limon. We arrived about 2:30 (mountain time) and got the Cottage hooked up to water and electricity. The girls reassured me they would do a little cleaning and put everything in its place. So, Jim and I filled our water jugs and walked out the door.
When we arrived at our destination, we hooked the header to the Beast and went to work.
We’re working with a great family! There are three generations of their family working in the field with the littlest guy driving combine. He’s nearly 12. As the evening came, I saw Jim crawling into one of their combines. I wondered what was going on. Apparently several members of the family had to leave to attend a Vacation Bible School program. Jim was shown how to run the Deere and away they went. I bet it’s been over 30 years since Jim and I worked in a wheat field in separate combines – might even be closer to 35.
Friday, July 11
I won’t lie, I didn’t want to wake up. I think the long days and the change from Central time to Mountain time had me in a funk this morning. I could not get going. I’d like to put some of the blame in the change of elevation, too. This morning when I was making our lunches, I realized how things can change going from Garden City elevation to Limon elevation. The potato chip bag was puffed out to the max. The mayo bottle spewed all over when I opened the lid. I warned the girls to be careful of what they open today and to drink plenty of extra water. The lack of water and higher elevation can cause dehydration headaches. We worked most of the day until the sprinkles shut us down about 7:00. The wheat is beautiful! There are places in the field hitting 100+ bushels per acre on the yield monitor. If I were to guess, I would guess a 50 bushel crop. We’ll see how close I am when it’s all said and done. I don’t know what the quality was like. I’ll have to ask Trucker Jim tomorrow.
As dark as those clouds were, I would have never guessed we would have gotten so little rain from them. After we parked the machines, we headed to our farmer’s house for supper. I have to admit, going to their house this year is a whole lot different than it was last year. At the beginning of our time with them last year, we didn’t know each other and I felt a little like we were intruding in their family time when we had supper with them. This year…it’s like having supper with family. This is the best part of what we do – the people. We came as strangers and left as family. Love it!