taking advantage of another rain day

IMG_8306Our anticipation and excitement of being on the road and FINALLY joining up with the rest of the “wheaties” soon came to an abrupt end. The rains we got the first night after we arrived, continued off and on for the next several days. That was Thursday – today is Wednesday. Almost an entire week has already disappeared.

Before we left, I planted my travelling flower garden. I try to do this every year mostly because it gives me a bit of a normal summer-type activity. Sometimes the busy-ness of the job and the heat of the summer take a toll on my garden. Right now, though, they are thriving.

All winter long, I wait and wait to see the green flowers peek through the wintery ground. By the time everything begins to show off its colors, we are getting ready to leave. I was able to enjoy a few flowers before we left this year. The anticipation of watching the plants grow and bloom continue even if they are confined to a box and a bucket! And so many reminders of people I love every day.

The challenge of getting started this year seems to be wearing on nearly every harvester I talk to. It’s not like a typical year of arriving at your destination, unloading the equipment, setting up camp and getting to work. The rains just continue.

And…now…thank you, Bill! (current tropical storm that has arrived in Central Oklahoma)

The Cottage is fun to be in (at first) and for a day or two. Not a week. Therefore, the girls and I finally gave into the need of moving beyond the front steps of the Cottage and headed for Oklahoma City on Monday. Callie’s final project for the “American Experience” class in school was about the OKC bombing. She didn’t remember being there (too young the last time we went) so we decided it was time to make the trip again. We had the time now and we better do it while we could.

When I knew we were going for sure, I contacted my NAFB friend, Leslie Smith. She used to work at KNEB out of Scottsbluff, NE but had recently moved to OKC and was now working at News9. She works with Ron Hays and does the Oklahoma Farm Report. We began the day with Leslie and lunch at POPS. Have you ever been there? We hadn’t either.

After lunch, we headed for the News9 building for an interview with Leslie for the Oklahoma Farm Report and a tour of the studio. Go ahead and click on the link to listen to Taylor’s interview. I think she did an excellent job! Thank you, Leslie, for such a fun afternoon!


Leslie Smith


Taylor and Leslie talking about her opportunities through the High Plains Journal All Aboard Wheat Harvest.


High Plains Journal saw something in Jenna and gave her the opportunity to be one of their first All Aboard correspondents in 2009. If that hadn’t have happened,  we wouldn’t be enjoying opportunities to share our lifestyle and the industry we love still today. Who would have known? All I can think about is how much I wish I could share just five minutes with my Grandpa and Grandma and tell them how they influenced not only my life but also the lives of their Great Granddaughters, as well.  Maybe I’d like to have a little more than five minutes.

Next on the schedule was the OKC National Memorial and museum. Taylor was 18 months old when this happened. I know exactly where I was when I heard the news on the radio. It’s been 20 years already. It saddens me when I view this site. Not only for the loss of life but also for the loss of our Country’s innocence.





IMG_8324“An American Elm Tree in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, it survived the bomb’s blast and witnessed one of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil. Today, we call it the Survivor Tree. Before the bombing, the tree was important because it provided the only shade in the downtown parking lot.”



It was early enough in the day (well…sorta) we decided to go home a different way and stop by the Misener’s house. I told the girls, “ONE HOUR”! That’s the amount of time we would allow for visiting and then we would continue on our way home.

The interstate paralleled the Historic Route 66. In Weatherford, I decided we’d actually get off the interstate and follow the old road for a while. This sort of thing gives me a weird feeling. Mostly because I think about the people who have been on this very same road and saw the very same old building or the very same tree as I was looking at. The road is narrow, curvy and has curbs. Seems odd to think that a highway has curbs.


IMG_8338Our hour turned into two and we arrived back at the Cottage just before 1:00 a.m. It was a good day and away from the confining walls of the Cottage!

Yesterday (Tuesday), we decided to move the Beast to the field and get ready. We have another harvester helping us so we can get through these acres and get moved up to Garden City as soon as possible. The jobs are starting to pile up on top of each other. Currently, there are combines and harvesters stretched from Texas to Kansas. Rain soaked fields are not being very kind to the combines. Visit the US Custom Harvesters Facebook page and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Picture after picture after picture of combines being swallowed by the saturated ground. Jim’s greatest fear!

We had to try it.

The Beast is an updated model for us this year. Looks the same but is a couple of years newer than the last. When I heard it for the first time, I couldn’t believe how quiet it sounded to me.

IMG_8342Jim taking the first sample of the year.

14% and the elevator said they would take one truckload. Wasn’t worth it. It was late enough in the day we opted to head back to the Cottage.  We’ll try again tomorrow.

Tomorrow was today (Wednesday). We woke to water-soaked grass; not due to rain but to overnight high humidity. It was well after lunch when we tried it again. This time, we filled Frank to the top and I took it to Shattuck. The moisture was 14.8% and the test weight 53.5. I think this is supposed to be one of the better fields. This poor area! They had beautiful wheat this spring and then it decided to quit raining at the point rain was most critical for the wheat’s growth. What we have is droughty wheat being cut during a monsoon (or tropical storm).


As long as there’s a possibility of mud being in the field, I won’t be sitting in the combine for long periods of time. I had to climb up into the cab, though, and make the first real round. It felt so good. I know…I know…it’s weird but that’s just the way it is. The MacDon header was working and the combine was humming and it made my ‘ole heart swell up. There’s just something about being in a combine. The comforting, steady hum of the machine is like the welcoming fragrance of home!


6 comments on “taking advantage of another rain day

  1. Tom Stegmeier says:

    Just a thought , is it possible that the elevators in OK. get a grain dryer in their setup.would sure help the the crews cutting wheat that have another job to go , instead of sitting for 12.5 %

    • Nebraska Wheatie says:

      I’m not sure if they have those because MOST of the time the sun does a grand job of drying the grain. It just hasn’t had the intensity needed. More trucks are coming in the elevator today with highs near 100° this weekend. That will help us keep going and maybe the moods will get better.

  2. Hilary says:

    I look forward to your blog posts about harvesting every year. It seems like such an adventure. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Nebraska Wheatie says:

      I’m so glad you enjoy them! And I’m glad you’re following us on our journey. Thank you for taking time to leave a note. I appreciate it (and you) so much!

  3. Craig says:

    Just wanted to ensure you that you are not alone when it comes to the feeling you get when you sit behind the wheel of a combine. Over the past few years of reading your blog, I’ve always felt that you are the only person that I have ever come across who can accurately express the same feelings I get about combines. And for the longest time, I thought I was the only one! So even if it is wierd to some, its not to all! 🙂 Happy Harvest!! Wish I was there!

    • Nebraska Wheatie says:

      Thank you for being in the same boat as me and letting me know I’m not as weird as I think I may be. I just had someone ask me yesterday WHY I loved it so much. I couldn’t pinpoint the reason. I just do. Thanks for following our journey and thanks for taking time to write your note!

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