High Plains Journal All Aboard Wheat Harvest


Tracy: Last day of the “home, home” routine
Z Crew

Manley, Nebraska – I have sort of a surreal feeling this morning. It’s the last full day of being “home, home.” Home, home…wondering where that phrase came from? It’s something the girls started years ago. When they talked about “home,” it was the trailer house. When they talked about “home, home,” it was Manley. It’s stuck. And what’s even more interesting…I hear other harvesters refer to their homes in the same way. That’s weird, but it works. Now you know.

I was laying in bed this morning trying to take in all the noise that Callie was creating. She was up early this morning getting ready to go to work – her “normal” routine. Normal is good. Even the most normal of activities should be appreciated and loved. You never know when that “normal” is going to change. And isn’t life all about change? Anyways…I wanted to just lay there and soak it all in because I know once we leave, it won’t be the same when we return. She’ll be back to school and the house will, once again, be quiet. I’ve enjoyed having her home so much. So much! 
Another reason I wanted to just lay there a little longer was to enjoy not having my body SCREAM back at me with every move. I think I’m starting to feel my age! Every inch of me seems to be telling me I’m not as young as I used to be. Dang!! 

So, let’s retrace the last week. We left with the first load a week ago today. It didn’t start out like we had hoped and we had to go to Plan B. We were loaded up and ready to head out last Friday night when we realized Frank had a minor issue (the air dryer on the brakes quit working). So, we unloaded our overnight gear and headed to Omaha after parts. The job of replacing the part was completely done a little after midnight. When we got up early on Saturday morning to leave, there was a severe storm just about to move in, so we waited for it to pass. It was a little after 11:00 a.m. before we left the driveway. We made it as far as Montezuma, Kansas. We parked the trucks in the lot behind the gas station and entered “Hotel Pete.” I don’t think either one of us slept very well that night – tiny quarters and not much air movement. 
Old school
Yes, Jim still uses an atlas to get the much larger picture of seeing where he wants to go. He’s old school, but it works!
Montezuma, KS
Day 2 of being on the road with load #1. A storm rolled in just as we parked the night before. It brought good rain and, unfortunately, some hail for the panhandle of Oklahoma.
Sunday morning, we started up the trucks and continued pointing the noses south. We arrived at our destination a little after 1:00 p.m. We unloaded what we could, took the service truck to the farmer’s yard and headed north again. This night, we actually got a hotel room. Both of us needed a shower and a good night’s sleep. This was in Hays, Kansas. We arrived back “home, home” about 4:00 p.m. It was good to be back.
Arrived in Claude, TX
We arrived at the farm in Claude shortly after 1:00 p.m. Then we unloaded and headed back north again.

Texas horizon
The Texas horizon from the passenger’s seat.

The transition of moving from “home, home” to “home” is just so weird anyway; and when I have to make that change in my head within days, it really messes with me. When we got back to the yard that need to be mowed and the laundry that needed to be washed, there was this thing called packing the trailer house that also needed to be done. What a job it is to move from one house to the next and get everything ready to be closed up for the next 120 days. Right now, I honestly feel it would be easier to just stay home and stay in our “normal” routine. Knowing me, I won’t remember the pain involved with this transition in about a week. It’s sort of like giving birth, I guess. You forget all about the pain after that baby is born and in a year, you’re ready to do it all over again… until the pain starts and by then it’s too late. 

The trailer house didn’t get into the driveway until late Thursday afternoon. When Jim came in the house, after getting it parked, he had a sick look on his face. I could tell something wasn’t good. He said, “We have a mess to clean up.” I just hung my head knowing exactly what he was talking about. All these years, we’ve never had an issue with mice getting into the trailer house. This was our year. We both spent the rest of the afternoon and until after 10:00 p.m. cleaning the mess our winter inhabitants had left behind. The worst mess and smell was under the bathroom sink. They had created a wonderful winter getaway with the toilet paper I had left in there. I started pulling open every drawer and cupboard. Mouse poop everywhere! My mind told me I DIDN’T WANT TO DO THIS, but I knew there was no getting out of what needed to be done. Every inch of that trailer house has been vacuumed and scrubbed. Blankets, towels and dishes have been re-washed. I guess the positive aspect of this is I now have the cleanest trailer house on harvest, I’m sure. I could do without that award!
Result of winter inhabitants
Here is the chaotic result after finding the winter inhabitants and what was left of the party they had in our Cottage on Wheels over the winter.
Result of winter inhabitants
Our Cottage on Wheels.
I spent all day yesterday packing the trailer. Today will be spent throwing in the last minute items, stripping the bed in the house, making the bed in the trailer house and getting everything ready to be closed up for the summer. There are weeds in the flower gardens, but why even mess with them? It’ll be a jungle when we come back this fall anyways. Then, there will be the goodbye’s. I’m not good at those. 

The routines of the day will continue with everyone else while ours change. Right now I’m wishing for the normalcy that “home, home” brings. But all who know me, know how much I love this lifestyle. Once we get down the road, the normalcy of “home” will override the emotions of leaving “home, home.” The transition of “home, home” and the harvest world is about to take place whether I’m ready for it or not as we plan to leave tomorrow.   Please say a prayer for this ‘ole heart.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Tracy Zeorian can be reached at zcrew@allaboardharvest.com.
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10 Responses to Tracy: Last day of the “home, home” routine
Z Crew

  1. Love the way you write about your troubles. Nothing you can can do but fix it and move on. Have a great summer.

    • Exactly! Just got to dig into whatever it is that’s needing fixed and make it happen!! Usually…you’re the only one that can make it happen and ya gotta do whatever it takes!

  2. Mice in an RV ,bugger !! Use Bounce sheets in the cupboards on the chairs ,the floors, beds,every where you think those critters will travel,when you put the Cottage in winter mode . You & Jim work Safe . Looking to see the Combine Cam in action !

    • Thanks, Tom! I’ve heard this suggestion a couple of times now so I guess I better stock up on dryer sheets this fall!! And plastic tubs to put stuff in just so I have a better feeling of not being touched by critters!!

  3. Every time you start to head out somewhere, I look up at he cork board with the “pictures” of old and then look at the ones you have sent at Christmas from harvest adventures over the years as the girls have grown, I do feel your concerns and pains and deal. Chris is coming home this weekend to help get combines going and it is very much welcome help as Josh is busy with his job yet comes out to run and work on the sprayer. it is all good, it is in their blood, and harvest is not to be missed by any of us. Will be looking for the cam and send a HI message to let you know I am checking in!

    • Wheat harvest has so much depth to it…family, faith, memories, sweat, pain and concern. It’s a time that means so much more than just grain in the bin! I looked at the pictures taken of Jim in 1975 and thought about that summer – and of you and Doug. I look forward to your “checking in”! Good luck with your harvest, too, Karen!

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