That’s the question – and the answer – that seems to be fairly common for us these days. Everyone in our world knows that we should be getting ready to leave – and wondering why we’re still here. We have the “extreme weather” to thank for our sudden stop in action. Remember that “extreme” cold weather we had about three weeks ago? We had snow in May, Texas had a severe freeze. The freeze put a halt on the pre-harvest work. Jim made the phone call to the fellow harvester we help. When Delaine saw that it was Jim calling, he didn’t even say hello – he answered the phone with, “I don’t know”. The “I don’t know” was later changed to, “we’re not needed”. The insurance adjuster visited the wheat fields only to find the wheat crop MIGHT yield 4 bushels to the acre. Not enough to justify the help of a custom harvester. It had to be a disappointment to our farmer but an even greater disappointment for us. No wheat…no income.
With Part 1 of this “story”, I left you with “When Grandma asked me if I’d like to join them the summer of 1974, I JUMPED on the idea. I’ll turn that part of my story into Part 2.”
I was SO EXCITED when Grandma asked me if I’d want to go – I was 12 years old in 1974. I think I was most excited about the idea of getting to spend time with her and Grandpa. Staying in the trailer house and keeping the floors cleaned came in at a close second. Why? I have absolutely no idea. Maybe it was just the “smallness” of it.
I don’t remember much about my first year on the road with Grandpa and Grandma but I’ll try to dig into that cobweb filled memory closet of mine and see what I can pull out.
One of my favorite memories riding with Grandma was listening to the radio. She was so good about letting me listen to “my” music for 15 minutes and then it was “her” music for 15 minutes. I can still hear her singing “her” music! And to this day, every time I hear something that she enjoyed singing, it makes me think of her. A couple of her favorite sayings…”stop and smell the roses” and “one day at a time”!
I heard about cardiologist Dr. William Davis and his book, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health quite some time ago. The first time I remember seeing mention of this guy was when a friend of mine posted his concern about the popularity of the book on his FaceBook page. We are both harvesters and have been in and around wheat all our lives. Neither of us grow wheat, but we harvest wheat so it came off as ridiculous to both of us.
I received an email from a gentleman in August asking me if I’d consider doing a presentation about custom harvesting at a meeting (involving agricultural engineers) at the AG CONNECT show the end of January. I remember where I was and what I was doing the very instant I received this email. Why? Because it instantly made me sick to my stomach thinking about talking in front of anyone, let alone educated engineers! I was sitting in the buddy seat of the combine with Jim in Montana. I read the email to him and his next words were, “Maybe you should see if Jon would do it”. Incentive enough to reconsider the idea that I couldn’t do it and show Mr. Jim I COULD do it. I was hoping for a little encouragement but he probably knew how I was feeling (terrified) and was trying to make it better the only way he knew how. I thought about it for a while before I answered with my “yes, I think I can do this”. I decided God had opened this door for me and I needed to walk through it.
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” Abraham Lincoln
The day I wrote this post was one that had been long awaited! We cut wheat todayon May 16 after sitting for days of waiting for moisture levels to get low enough to cut. The perfect moisture to cut wheat is 13%. We sort of figured out it was probably due to the early spring and already ripened wheat. The wheat was ready to cut but the dew and cooler temps in the mornings (like a typical spring in TX) were messing with our ability to get it cut. It was after 3:00 when we FINALLY got started. Reading this post and seeing the pictures makes me really excited about heading south again.
It’s fun going back and re-reading posts over the year and remembering that particular day as though it were yesterday. This is one of those days. However, for it being the third most read post of the year, I wonder if it was the headline that caught everyone’s attention. It certainly isn’t one of the better ones – no pictures and very short. Maybe I should learn from this
It’s been pretty busy around the Z household for the past week. I feel bad about pushing my writing to the side – but only just a little. I’ve been spending time with Christmas preparations, kids and activities of the season. One day soon, things will get back to normal and I can dedicate more time to my blog. For now, though, I’ve decided I will share with you the top four posts of 2012. The #1 posting will be shared with you on January 1, 2013 – a brand new year with brand new memories to capture.
Today, though, we are heading to Omaha for a movie, Lincoln, and supper out with the family. Can’t wait to see this movie (and spend the evening with my family – including my brother, Matt)!
I’m fairly sure it was after 9:00 by the time our plane limped towarda the runway and left the city lights of Saskatoon in its rear view mirror. Once the plane was in the air, we knew we were finally headed home…hopefully!
Ever have to sit in an airport longer than you anticipated? Due to “mechanical issues”, our plane has been delayed from Saskatoon to Minneapolis. Not sure exactly what the issue is…something with tires. No – really! So, while sitting here, I decided it would be an opportune time to update my blog with the latest pictures.
Being part of the custom harvesting family goes beyond the U.S. Custom Harvesters. Jim and I are in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for the next several days attending the Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters along with a couple other members of the USCHI board.
We flew in yesterday through a snow storm. A snow storm that concerned the pilot enough that he told us he had received the minimum requirements from the control tower to land and he was going to try to “getter done”. He did. It wasn’t even a rough landing. It took us about 45 minutes, though, to get to the hotel which is usually only a short drive.
Today we have been enjoying the trade show and combine manufacturers. Each manufacturer has their own group of representatives who have also become part of the custom harvesting family. Our Canadian family has done a tremendous job of making us feel welcome!!