let’s play catchup

I’ve been pretty absent since the end of January. Guess I had things to do…

Like remove wallpaper from my kitchen walls and renew my kitchen chairs.

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a memory from a previous life

Why is it that when you have good intentions of doing something on this computer one thing leads to another and it tends to take way more time than you really wanted it to? I think that’s one of the biggest roadblocks I have when I think, “gee, I should write a blog”. And then, I can find all kinds of other things to do than to actually do what I intended to do. UGH!!! And, as usual, I sat down in front of this computer about an hour ago with intentions to write. And so it goes…

I have a feeling this could be a post where my mind just goes all over the place – so beware!!

There’s been quite a bit of time since my last posting. And it feels like the winter months just zoomed by. Maybe it’s just my aging brain and time is something that changes as the body ages. Maybe. But, if you ask Jim if something seems like it zoomed by, he’ll tell me, “No! It feels like that many years ago”. I sort of envy that. I sort of wish the last 30 years – let alone the last 60 days – seems like a long time ago. In my brain, it was just yesterday.

I had a reminder of this just a couple of days ago. Someone from a previous life of mine (well, not really) passed away. While growing up, we lived in a neighborhood much like the ones you would see on some of those old-time 60’s TV shows. The families got together, the kids played together while growing up, we all went to school together, etc. And then we grew up. We lose touch with the kids we grow up with (most times) but thanks to social media, you can reconnect but it’s not the same.

When I think about the old neighborhood, I think about the Thompson’s, the Reed’s, the Ruff’s and the Dobias’. It was our hood. As youngsters, we all played together – didn’t matter who was older or younger, we were just together. One of my favorite memories of growing up is camping with the Reed’s. They had a boat. And the parents trusted us to take that boat out to the middle of the lake and we fished or we skied – alone. Crazy, right? Either our parents were really trusting or really stupid – or both. 🙂 I would probably think twice about letting my kids do the things we did. But…life was different then. The world was different then.

Bill passed away this week. And I hesitated to attend the visitation at the funeral home. I don’t know why (I’m sure you were asking yourself that question). Anxiety of being with people who may not remember me? Was it because I didn’t want to accept the fact that I am so much older now? I honestly don’t know why I felt the way I did. I asked Jim if he’d go with me. He agreed to go. While we were talking about it, I “googled” Bill’s name to see if I could find out for sure what the times were. And then I saw the picture. Bill…as I remembered him – sitting in a boat, with his shirt off, exposing the all-familiar tattoos he surely got while serving in the Navy. And the tears came oh so easily. How could so many years have passed since then? Bill was always a large man – not heavy – just a BIG man. Maybe it was because I was little. And I loved him. Not like my dad or my grandpa but I loved him and who he was.

I was right. They didn’t remember me. I had to re-introduce myself to the kids I used to play with. We were all different. We were older and have lived life without each other’s presence for a lot of years. But, it was good to see them. To catch up on each other’s lives. To reconnect. To remember. To be in the same room. And the past felt like a different time…a different world…a different life. And it was. But it felt so good to be with those old memories once again.

You probably never knew this, Bill, but you were a pretty big deal to me and I appreciate the piece of who I became because of you.

So, I told you I had no idea where this was going to lead. I sat down with the intentions of sharing the past couple of months in pictures with you. That will have to be another post.

few called him bubba

The last picture I took of Wes

(My final blog for 2016 – although it is 2017 – and it’s the very hardest to write. I’ve been mulling this one in my head for a long time. I’ve thought of all the things I’ve wanted to say for over a year and yet the words don’t come easy. I pray that God gives me the story and the words and the healing my heart is needing by writing this letter.)

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taylor gets a new last name

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Colten Josoff

So, it’s the last day of 2016. And…I’ve procrastinated in getting my posts written until now. So, be prepared. Today will be a writing marathon for me just so my thoughts and pictures can be included in our 2016 book. Just remember…I forewarned you.

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another faith building year

There’s one key element involved in this harvesting game which none of us have control over and that is the weather! This particular piece of the puzzle will either make you or break you.

IMG_5001Right about now, I’m feeling like my invitation was lost in the mail. I know it’ll show up soon…I just have to be patient!

Taylor and I left home early on Tuesday morning. The van was packed to the hilt as we headed south – south to Texas. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been seeing the loaded combines on Facebook. I’ve felt that feeling before. It was when the girls were little and I had to stay behind. I’ve been feeling a bit left behind.  So, I was thankful to have the Case IH ProHarvest Kickoff as a reason to head for the Longhorn State.

IMG_0524Dan Renaud of Case IH has done this event for the past 18 years. Dan informed the crowd today that after this meeting, he would no longer be employed with Case IH. After working for Case for 35 years, his job was being cut. We’ll miss you, Dan! And thanks for the many years of supporting the US Custom Harvesters!

IMG_0525Day one of two.

The states of Texas and Oklahoma have been battling weather for quite some time. Rain, rain and more rain (and a few tornadoes and hail)! Some places have seen up to 30″ of the wet stuff. If you remember why we haven’t been back to Texas since 2012, it’s because of the drought…and late season freezes. Circumstances have kept us from returning to the great State of Texas this year (mostly because we didn’t have a “for sure” job to head to) but maybe it’s for the best.  This crazy weather has most of the “wheaties” who are in Texas struggling to keep their employees busy and has provided plenty of time to socialize.  And socializing is something you can only do if it’s raining. Those are my most favorite days on harvest – as long as you’re parked in a campground with other harvesters.IMG_5002

The annual kickoff breakfasts began on Tuesday with the MacDon gathering. I’ve never been to these gatherings before. I’m sure if there is wheat to be cut, the socializing is kept to a minimum. Today, however, everyone had plenty of time to enjoy each other’s company. It was almost like a mini convention.  I set up a “booth” with USCHI products to promote the organization a bit more and to sell a t-shirt or two.

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It was after the meeting that I started feeling like the party planner had forgotten to send my invitation. Seeing the loaded combines parading down main street of Frederick, OK made me realize that it was, in fact, harvest time.  The “boys of summer” were making their way back to the small towns for the wheat harvest. The golden wheat fields are just waiting for the combines to do what they’re meant to do.  When? When will this party get started? The harvesters are hoping soon…very soon. BUT, the weather needs to straighten out first. Today I learned that within the past seven days, the tornado sirens have gone off five times. It seems this part of the country can’t get a break from the rain. The lakes and reservoirs are maxed out and overflowing. The Red River is about as wide as it can possibly be. I heard a DJ on the radio talk about all this water. He mentioned that the flooding is bad but it will go away and the lakes will remain full of water. The ranchers and farmers who own cattle are in heaven.

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Taylor and I will start making our way back north tomorrow.  There was no rain here today but the forecast for the next two days shows 60% and 70% chance of rain. If things don’t straighten out soon, I have a feeling it could be a train wreck! If it’s not the wheat going down, it’ll be sprout damage (or both) and can you imagine the mud holes these combines are gonna find? Even though we SHOULD be out here with the rest of the harvesters, I have a feeling that we may have done the right thing this year by staying away from the Longhorn State. I will pray for my fellow “wheaties”. I have a feeling this is shaping up to be one of those faith building years.  One of these years, though, we’re going to have a typical harvest journey again (I hope)!

the goodbye will be hard

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It’s too quiet in here!

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came as strangers – left as family

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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.

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