After finishing reading my news feed on Facebook this morning, I'm realizing once again the differences between living on a working livestock/grain farm and my townie friends. Even though Joe was able to come with us and enjoy fireworks in town last night, he was yawning incessantly due to the simple fact that it was later than we're usually out (we're usually snoozing on our respective couches the second the kids are in bed...is this normal?), but he was also exhausted after a day spent in the heat prepping the combine and wagons for our wheat harvesting today.
Yep, that's right. Wheat. We have wheat...did you know that? I knew that at one time we had wheat, but thanks to our busy fall, I must have missed the conversation about planting...excuse me sowing wheat. Oops.
Regardless, it's early, two of the four kids are up, it's basketball camp/library/t-ball day, and Joe's already out the door, hauling a load of corn to get the semi cleared out before the wheat needs to be put into the semi's hopper bottom (or trailer with a mechanized hole in the bottom, as I like to think of it).
The lack of Joe's participation in all of our Fourth of July activities is not what struck me this time, it's the combine! In JULY! I nearly had a panic attack when I saw it, feeling the nervousness and loneliness I tend to get when we're deep in the heart of harvest. I started to rifle through the pantry to make sure I had Nutty Bars, a harvest staple, and then caught myself:
IT'S JULY. And, it's WHEAT. Thus, this harvest is only a DAY or TWO!! Whew.
So, as my panic attack subsided, my questions started. Joe's not super thrilled to have wheat, as it's harvest time is not quite ideal. No, he's not lamenting the fact that the fourth of July was not spent camping or golfing or swimming. He always laughs that outdoor leisure activities are not his style, as his job is spent outside most of the time. What's the fun of nature when you're in nature already? Anyway, he's feeling the time crunch of hay mowing and baling as well as loads of grain that need to be hauled for July contract dates (grain contracts are like a deadline or a due date). He's also seeing the importance of being present in our kids' lives. A benefit of farming (and there are not many fringe benefits...sans a seed corn cap or two) is the ability to be present during the day, in and out of the house and yard with the kids. It's a blessing and curse, Joe will tell you, as I depend on him way too much for every day things, and when he's not free, I'm shocked. Anyway, being present is tricky when there's a crop that is time sensitive.
Thankfully, however, Joe's wheat harvesting is just a day or two, and he will be able to sit a kid or two on his lap as he drives (actually, the combine drives itself, but that's another post) the combine through the picturesque wheat field. With my panic of seeing the combine subsiding, I will gladly pack and Nutty Bar in honor and preparation of the season that causes me great strife.
I guess this is just a warm up.