We are on Day 18 of perfect harvest weather. What luck! What bliss! What mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion!
So, what does a farmer do when he's reached Day 18 of 14 hour days? The chicken dance. That's right. The chicken dance. I was washing the breakfast dishes this morning and watching out the window as Joe and Anna were unloading their first load of grain today into our "Big Bin" (kind of like a farmer's version of Big Ben). As I was wistfully thinking of how special their relationship is as a farmer and his daughter, I was thrown out of my daydream as I saw them start to do the Chicken Dance right out there in the driveway!
One driving by (thank goodness we don't have much traffic that doesn't already know we're kind of strange) would consider this a bit odd, and might even slow down to see this grown man executing a perfect Chicken Dance with his daughter. However, I know that there are two factors contributing to this silly behavior. Well, three, if you count that Joe is pretty silly with the kids, and four if you count that there was a time when Joe was the leader of aforementioned dance at roughly nine thousand fraternity brothers' weddings.
But I digress.
The first "real" factor is that we are truly on Day 18, and the guys are getting to the silly phase of exhaustion. It is wonderful to have had this perfect, dry, some times warm, some times cool weather, but it tends to drive a person nutty. The farmers are actually calling it quits early today, and not working tomorrow, just to get a bit of a break. That is something that is rarely done during a busy season, but the farmers around here know that they are starting to get borderline crazy, so a break is necessary. Thank goodness! Respite from doing the bedtime routine alone, and the potential of a dinner OUT!! Whoo-hoo!!
Secondly, I have been doing a little bit of subbing at Anna's school, and yesterday, my mission was to pretend to be a music teacher for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. My cousin, a 4th grader, was truly mortified when I started teaching tempo by having them dance the Chicken Dance (just following the sub plans...for the most part!). Anyway, Austin, my cousin, acted horrified, but as I looked closer when I saw Joe and Anna doing the Chicken Dance, a small camouflaged-sweatshirt arm began flapping, and I realized that AUSTIN was doing it, too!! Guess my lesson sunk in!
Regardless of who was teaching whom the Chicken Dance, and regardless of the day, we are thankful for the silliness. This is a good thing. Scratch that, this mood around the farm is a great thing. The guys are happy with the yields; the weather is cooperating; and although they may lament the markets, we all have made good decisions regarding them.
If you're feeling good about being a farmer/farm wife/farm kid...who wouldn't want to break out into the Chicken Dance??