#vegasboundwheaties adventure continues

We had a nine-day window of time before Callie and I had to be back to Vegas to pick up the Nebraska Wheat Growers’ Mobile Baking Lab from the convention center.

In that time frame, we celebrated Taylor’s 23rd birthday and I made a brief trip to the corn field for an afternoon.

Happy birthday, Taylor

Callie and Taylor

Happy birthday Taylor

Celebrating in style! Jenna, Callie & Taylor

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TATE, TEE TEE, DEET, TATOR BUG…TAYLOR!

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memories of another lifetime

Another lifetime

I did something tonight that I don’t usually do (unless I’m sick). I was actually laying on the couch, wrapped up to my chin with a fleece blanket. We’ve been cold and snowy here in Eastern Nebraska much longer than I really care to be. Once my body gets cold it takes blankets and/or a hot bath to really feel warm again. Tonight, I was hoping the blanket would do the trick. I guess that’s why I was on the couch.

The TV was on (more so for noise) and Jim was sitting in his chair looking at his phone. I thought about this particular scene as I looked at the carpet on the floor. My thoughts immediately went from the current moment to remembering what the floor looked like when we first moved in, which led to the carpet, which led to the chaos and craziness of this particular area of the house, which led to the quietness of the house, which led to why I’m writing.

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more than one way to skin a cat

Oh my goodness! Why oh why do I put something off until it becomes a chore? I have no idea why it’s been so difficult for me to sit down and write. Maybe it’s some sort of writer’s block? I went through my pictures yesterday and decided today was the day to make it happen. Have you ever put something off so long you just wished it would go away – only it doesn’t? Today I have decided there was more than one way to skin a cat. What in the world am I talking about? I hope you know I would never really try to skin a cat. I know a couple of people (who are world-famous trappers) who DO KNOW what it’s like to skin a cat. Okay…now, I’m getting off subject.

Another reason I’ve sort of backed away from writing (I think) is the overwhelming amount of information that comes through social media about how I SHOULD be writing a blog. And how it’s SUPPOSED to be done. And how I’m doing it all WRONG. I admit, I began reading some of the information, hoping to learn more, only to end up even more overwhelmed. After feeling like a complete loser, I decided I was doing it just as it was INTENDED it when started. I wasn’t out to win the #1 spot on the Google search engine. I’m not making bazillions of dollars – not even one – so I shouldn’t feel the need to compete in any way with anyone. I don’t need to have a post go viral (although it would be fun to think I wrote well enough others liked it that much). I just want to write. To share my story and my journey through this crazy thing called life. If it helps someone somewhere along the way, perfect! No more worries about doing it wrong!

So, the last update I wrote about (a harvester’s widow), I was spending my days doing whatever I could while getting used to being home…by myself. How long ago was that? I just looked – it was October 28. A lot of things have occurred since that day. And because of recent events that have made me more aware of how important pictures and memories are, I have decided I have just got to do this. Staring at the closed computer every day wasn’t going to make anything just go away.

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a harvester’s widow

I have become a harvester’s widow.

Jim’s been the sole fall harvester since we started this business. That means he’s been the only one in the soybean and corn crops for the past 30 years. And this year is no different. There was some talk that I may be needed to run grain cart because they are one man short. If you remember, the day Ben was born, we also lost our fall customer and dear friend, Russell. Apparently, his son-in-laws have it under control better than they expected before the harvest actually got started because I’ve not been asked. Russell would be very proud of them! However, I was sort of hoping I would finally be involved but with this cold snap…maybe not so much.

So, while Jim has been doing the fall harvest, I’ve been the one left at home doing what needs to be done here. Until the past two years, a lot of my time has been involved with the girls’ schedules. Not so much anymore. So, the days tend to get long. I have been able to unload and clean the inside and outside of the trailer house with very little interruption. I have all but one small flower garden to clean out before the snow flies and I still have the house to thoroughly clean of cobwebs. Jim usually leaves the house about 7:30 am and most nights doesn’t get home until 9:30. Long days – much like the wheat harvest.

I’ve had a couple of fun outings with Eli and Nora. It’s probably a good thing they don’t live any closer than they do. We may not get anything done…ever!

Our first outing was a spur of the moment occurrence. It was one of those beautiful Fall days where it didn’t even feel like Fall. It was one of those “let’s make her think it’s going to be summer forever” type of days.

Whenever we go anywhere, we have to have Jamie put the car seats in the van. I almost hate to suggest going anywhere simply because I know just how much work it is to transfer those seats from one vehicle to the other. It’s not like it was when my girls were little. Holy cow! So simple back then (and they survived)!!! Improvements usually mean more work. Anyways, I headed over to the H’s house and had Jamie install these pieces of engineering genius in the van. Jamie had their bag filled with snacks, jackets and anything and everything we could possibly need. I’ll have to give that girl credit…she’s prepared!

Once loaded, I decided we needed to head towards the walking bridge (that used to be a railroad bridge) that goes over the Platte River. You can walk from one shore of the river to the next. I will have to confess, though, I worried about just letting the kids head out on their own at first. But, once I surveyed the amount of space between the fence and the cement bridge, there was no way a body could just fall through it and land in the river. So, they were OFF!

It was about here where I was making sure a little body couldn’t just slip through any sort of opening. Even though I knew they couldn’t, I couldn’t convince the uneasy feelings I had of that while watching them stand there. 

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it was the best surprise!

It was just a week ago yesterday they surprised us.

Taylor and Callie were coming to visit over the Labor Day weekend. We knew that. And I had suggested bringing Eli with them but I was told there were reasons why it just wasn’t going to work.

As it turned out, the proso millet wasn’t quite ready to be harvested. It needed a few more days so we were told we wouldn’t be working over the weekend. It would have to wait until Monday. I told Taylor and Callie this and they were a little bummed. I think they were both hoping to experience the combine, the truck and being in the field again. Something they took for granted when they tagged along with us every summer. This was the second summer they had been away from the routine. I wasn’t worried about finding something to do. I thought, if nothing else, maybe just us girls could make a trip into the mountains. I knew it would be hard to get Jim back into the hills after we’d just toured the Montana mountains.

The plan (or so I thought) was for the two of them to leave after Taylor got off work on Friday afternoon. They would be here either late that night or spend the night in a hotel. I encouraged the latter. I know how hard it is to get through those last couple hundred miles before you get here. And even worse when it gets so late. It was about 11:00 on Friday morning when Taylor called. She said she had gotten to take off work earlier than expected and they were just about ready to leave home. I told her to let us know how the trip was going and to be careful. “Oh, and when you get to Limon, would you stop at the grocery store (if it’s open) and pick up some peaches. They are REALLY good this summer!” She said she would.

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next stop…colorado and millet harvest

If you’ve been following the All Aboard Wheat Harvest, you know we’ve been north of Chester, Montana working for a farmer. We left the Beast, Frank and the Pete in Chadron for a bit of an adventure somewhere in the middle of Montana.

Just a month ago, I stayed with Eli and Nora while Jamie, Curt and Ben were in the hospital. But, as soon as they got home late Wednesday night, it was time to go back to work mode. There was wheat to cut in Montana!! We had hired on with Mattson Farms to help them get their harvest done. We left for Montana the very next day.

The first time Jim held Ben – just before we had to tell him goodbye.

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and baby makes three

If you’ve been following along with the All Aboard Wheat Harvest harvest blog updates, you’ll know that we’re home. Something that is unheard of for this time of year. The last time I was home in July was in 1989…Jamie was 4 and Jenna just a little more than a year. The weirdest part of the whole deal was thinking about how much work it took to get ready to go and then only being away for like 42 days. But, God had a different plan for us.

In November, when Jamie announced to us she was expecting, I immediately counted the months and was so disappointed when I realized that baby #3 was going to be born while we were somewhere in the middle of a wheat field. We SHOULD be in Colorado at that time. Maybe I can get a few days away and come home to help. Little did I know, God’s plan had us coming home at just the right time! We cut as many acres as we could and with the last few days of being away the anxiety started to set in. I was concerned about making it home on time. Baby was due July 17…we didn’t leave Chadron until July 19th. But God had every single, little detail perfectly orchestrated to allow us to be home at the exact moment.

Back to the land of corn and soybeans.

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