“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.
Today was the day we made the trip with the first load to our new “home” – Shattuck, OK. We were in this area last year but stayed in Arnett. The fields are closer to Shattuck and it’s easier to get diesel fuel in Shattuck so we decided that’s where we’ll hang our hat for a while. When I mentioned to Taylor that we’d be staying there this year, she was disappointed. Even though there wasn’t much in the town of Arnett for them to do, it was a memory and had been “home” to them.
Going with the safe bet worked for us this time! Unfortunately, what the rain did, though, was set us back on getting the equipment cleaned and loaded. We got everything done before it got too dark except loading the combine. This will have to be done in the morning and shouldn’t take too long.
Because of the rain, we ran into Wichita Falls to take care of a couple of errands – one being new mudflaps for Frank. They weren’t exactly the ones I wanted but you do what you have to do! And…I have moved up in the world!! I am now a proud owner and user of a SMART phone! No more flip phone for me while in DC – I’ll be smart just like the rest. I can’t wait until Taylor and Callie get here so they can show me everything this thing can do.
It felt real odd being in the field without the Reimer crew!! I enjoyed the activity the larger crew brought to the day and feeling like part of a team. However, today was what I was used to and it felt nice, too. One machine means a slower pace! For most of the week, me and Frank were on the road constantly. Today meant a little more breathing time.
The wind blew today. It blew so hard, it blew the mud flaps right off Frank! I believe the southerly “breeze” was blowing as hard as 40-45 mph. I faced my truck towards the east most of the day so that when it was time to roll the tarp, it was rolling with the wind. If I had it facing west and tried rolling it, the wind would catch the tarp, blow it up and probably tear it right off the box. I DIDN’T need that to happen! Sometimes, if I had to face Frank in a different direction, the grain cart driver would block the wind so the tarp wasn’t in jeopardy. It was warm again – 92 – but with the wind, it made it more tolerable being in the truck.
Today seemed more like a typical harvest day. We were able to get started before 10:00. Moisture was 13.1% with my first load. Weather man said it was going to be a warmer day than we’ve been seeing. One thing I think we all forget about because the wheat’s ready to cut now is it is still only the middle of May – not the end. So, I wonder if the cooler temps at night and the not-so-brutal day temps are because of the day we see when we look at the calendar. Today WAS warmer, though – 98 degrees with a little breeze. It was definitely a drink-your-water-jug-dry kind of day!
The day began earlier than we were used to while on “vacation” (due to the rain break). This morning, we had to move the trailer house. What a pain! Everything had to be taken down, slid in, unplugged and removed just as if we were moving 250 miles. This little trip was taking us to another section of the park – with lower voltage electricity (no air) and no sewer hookup. Apparently the owner of the KOA had people coming in who had booked our space over a year ago. So, we have a new view when we look out our windows for the next three days. After those three days, it will mean tearing everything down again and moving back to a real RV space. I guess I could look at it as practice – how fast can the cottage on wheels go from stationary to road ready?
Nope…not today. We thought we might get to start later this afternoon but it just didn’t happen. And, it wasn’t because we weren’t ALL anxious to get started.
Jim and I are helping another harvester on this first job of ours. The other harvester is a longtime friend of ours (Delane and Travis Reimer) whom we’ve known for over 20 years. Our kids played together when we reached the Chappell, Nebraska area. There were always a whole slug of kids at that stop – Zeorian’s, Krumbach’s, Reimer’s, Trummel’s, Slattery’s and more. It was the stop the kids looked most forward to (except Jordan, MT) because there were friends to get together with. There were times when the kids were all together in one trailer and the old folks were in another. Rain days were most looked forward to in Chappell so we could gather together for a meal and friend time.
As we were driving through Snyder, Oklahoma and further south into Frederick, I started feeling like we were the last ones to the party. I couldn’t believe the amount of wheat that had already been cut since we had been down just a week earlier. When we were through this area a week ago, we saw four combines running and wheat that looked like it should be cut. The harvesters began their exodus from all points of the Midwest with one thing in mind – cut wheat. And that’s what they did while we were still trying to get a truck repaired and a trailer house packed. Oh well…we did the best we could.
So, after all that work we did to get here, guess what it did last night – it rained. (Hurry up and wait – the harvester’s motto) Our first day of harvest 2012 and it starts as a rain day. Frustrating? Yes but, on the other hand, it gives us a day or two to take a deep breath, get settled and then gear up to the working stage. Those who busted their butts to get here and then had to start right away needed a break, too. It’s always nice to get to a place a day or two BEFORE having to start cutting – not the same day. So, if I’m responsible for their break – so be it. They needed one!
The confusion of what day of the week it is has begun. Harvest has a tendency to make that happen. When you’re involved with this job, you don’t run by a clock or a calendar (much). It’s daylight, sundown – rainy day or sunny. So, today is sunny, hot and another day to try to figure out what is going on with this truck of ours.
We made it to our destination – a farm near Burkburnett, TX. This will be home now until the wheat is cut and it’s time to move north. We unloaded the combine and headed immediately north. The issue with the truck is still ongoing. We stopped in Seiling, OK for a quick break and Jim noticed two of the new bolts were broken. A quick run to the auto parts store for more. Things still weren’t quite right so a call to our new favorite truck repair shop in Ellinwood was necessary. They told Jim to patch it up the best he could and get it to the shop on our way home. Jim’s intention was to drive until he could get back to Ellinwood. He made it as far as Medicine Lodge (1:30) and had to quit for a few hours of sleep. The alarm went off at 5:45 a.m. and we were back on the road. Right now, we’re sitting in RMACs shop in Ellinwood trying to figure out what to do next. It looks like we’ll be renting a car to get home and leaving the Pete in KS for a few days. More expense…more worries – that’s what it’s all about (I guess).