Monday, September 17, 2012

Harvest Pep Talk

Okay, today is the day, we think.

I know a lot of farmers have already opened up fields, spent hours upon hours in combines, and have reported yields to friends, neighbors, etc., but we haven't started yet.

Until today.

It's a foggy, muggy morning, there's chance of showers this afternoon, but today is the day we're thinking about starting.

And today's the day I give myself a little pep talk.

I can do this. I can be a part of this harvest. I can prep my fridge and freezer with easy meals to prepare for lunch and/or dinner at weird times. I can be the sole childcare provider, bather, spelling words quizzer, piano and dance lessons taker, etc., etc. I can do this.

I can do this, right?

Well, I will do it, and there will be complaining and sighing and quiet times when I enjoy seeing the combine running and the guys literally running from place to place, but it's the season. It's time, and let's get this crummy year over with, right?

So today, I am giving myself a pep talk. Yesterday was a prelude to the harvest season, as Joe spent the entire Sunday haying. It was a test, and although some of the day was hairy, I did it, and like every fall for the past six years, I spent it just wondering. Wondering what it would be like to be a family that spent lazy Sunday afternoons cleaning out the garage or at the apple orchard or watching football on the couch. I spent it wishing Joe was home with us, but trying to steel myself against this wish, knowing that the busy-ness of our business is just starting and I should quit wondering and press onward. Kids need to be fed, beds need to be made, so just move on.

That's my pep talk for the harvest season...Move on, Emily. Move forward, press on, and quit whining.

Because this is the best part, right? This is when the harvest is reaped, and we get to see how we fared during this drought. We get to watch big equipment, the kind that makes Jack stop in his tracks and point and make a "Mmmm-mmmm" motor sound. This is the time that my girls run to Joe with open arms even more so than usual, because they miss him, and that is special, right?

Harvest is upon us, and as I wait with a nervous stomach and anticipation, I also realize how lucky we are to be in a profession that has this excitement around it. The first field to be opened up will be the one where we have documented its growth (don't worry, I'll get a few last pictures), right outside my door. While we watch today, I know that part of me will continue to struggle with the exhaustion and isolation harvest brings, but I will keep repeating my mantra as I watch the combine roll.

That, and I'll be chasing Jack to keep him out of the way, so who has time to worry, right?

Happy harvest.


  1. Good luck to you! I have the same pep talk with myself every year. Never gets easier being a temporary single parent, does it? I just remind myself that harvest is never as long or as horrible as I think it will be (EXCEPT a few years ago when we were still picking downed corn a week before Christmas). :)

  2. This post almost got me tears! My husband is a hay farmer in Idaho and we are on third crop! Yeah! My kids give him huge hugs and kisses when he leaves and come home and it warms my heart! Hope you have a easy and prosperous harvest!

  3. Oh how I relate to this post. I easily get frustrated with my husband because he isn't here to help me with the bathing, meal taking, sports running, homework, etc..but such is the life we choose and love! This year is going to be a true test because we are due with baby#3 any day now and harvest started on Thursday for us!

    Sarah @ This farm family's life

  4. Totally our harvest is over. But fall work has begun...

    My pep talk to myself is to remember that if I were truly a "single parent," I wouldn't have the means or availability to run my kids around and live life how I live it with my husband out there harvesting.

    It is a fabulous time of the year but also very stressful! Hoping for a safe and bountiful harvest for your family.