High Plains Journal All Aboard Wheat Harvest

Laura: Last time for everything
Laura Haffner

Park, Kansas – There’s a popular country music song out right now called “Last Time for Everything” by Brad Paisley. I have to admit, if I get to thinking too hard about it, it can be a little bittersweet and a tear or two may creep up on me.  Since I often use songs to paint a picture in my posts, I bet you can guess where this is going.

I had every intention of joining the crew in North Dakota.  This year, the kids and I would need to return home in mid-August if we went north. When we originally planned, it looked like they would have a good week or so of cutting, then several days break, then back to cutting. Without launching into all the logistics, we decided it made the most sense for the kids and I to stay behind.  Ryan would zip home during that break to care for business here and see us before returning for the remainder of harvest. Hindsight is always 20/20 and as it turned out with the crazy weather, we should have gone ahead and traveled north. We ended up seeing Ryan for about 30 hours in a nearly four week stretch. Such is the life of harvesters and we rolled with it. 

It was a good reminder for life. Best laid plans are always subject to change.  You can always second guess decisions made, but that’s a waste of time.  A person has to make the most of every moment whether in the harvest field or in the big picture of life.  Luckily, unknowingly, that’s what we did a few weeks prior. 

High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Laura)
Daddy made it home! We are so happy to be reunited.  (Photo credit: Laura)

Backing up a few weeks, the kids and I stayed in the field all afternoon on the last day of Colorado harvest. For some reason I just had the feeling that we couldn’t leave.  It was a beautiful, clear day that afternoon and one of those rare, late July days that wasn’t unbearably hot. The kids both had their own turn to ride with Ryan individually which rarely happens. They usually have to share time. We also made a few rounds with the four of us scrunched in the cab. Since we knew the harvest up north was a few days off, we really made it count by staying to the very end. It’s a nice feeling to watch the last pass of a region’s harvest. Oblivious to what was happening, it was our “last time for everything” and one of my happiest memories from this year’s run. Next year things will be a little different, the family a little older, and the combine cab a little more snug.  The river of life moves on.  

High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Laura)
The “supervisors” making sure the last two passes of Colorado are completed properly. (Photo credit: Laura)
I don’t consider the wheat run over until each person and machine is back “home” to the yard safe and sound. On Saturday, the crew that remained up north made it in. Each of the crews in Montana and North Dakota had been waiting for their respective acres of chick peas or canola to dry down. While they were waiting, we were able to shuffle a few pieces of equipment back from the north country to headquarters, those at the farm converted combines over for corn harvest, and some were hauling grain.

High Plains Harvesting - Photo from Ryan
The first load of equipment ready to head south. (Photo credit: Ryan)
A cold front moved through this week and there’s just a hint of fall in the air. Kansas falls can be tricky in that we can have 90+ degree temperatures one day and 20 degrees cooler the next. I’m a summer loving gal, but I will say I’m looking forward to some cooler temperatures.

High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Ryan)
Ryan’s view from the combine. (Photo credit: Ryan)

High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Ryan)
A little different look than wheat and small grains! (Photo credit: Ryan)
High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Ryan)
Finished for the day. Everything is full and ready to dump with the pits open on Wednesday. (Photo credit: Ryan)

It is hard for me to believe that it is time to wrap up another All Aboard Wheat Harvest tour. I appreciate the High Plains Journal for giving me this outlet to write and photograph the harvest experience. I’m grateful for the loyal fans who continue to show interest in this program and tune in to catch the latest bits of harvesting news. It’s always a pleasure hearing from you! Thanks to John Deere, our primary sponsor, for your support of All Aboard Wheat Harvest. A thank you also goes to ITC, Syngenta’s Agri Pro division, Unverferth, and Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. Your part is instrumental in keeping this project going!

If you haven’t had enough harvest yet, we’d love to hear from you over on our Facebook page. You can search for us as “High Plains Harvesting“. The first of our fall harvest pictures were just posted.

Have a safe and happy fall! God bless!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Laura can be reached at laura@allaboardharvest.com.
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6 Responses to Laura: Last time for everything
Laura Haffner

  1. Laura,a wonderful post,super pictures.You are so in tune as a Mom of two little ones,and a big part of your day to day operation of Harvesting across the Great Plains.

  2. Have loved your adventures this Summer, thanks High Plains for making it possible to follow along. Thanks Laura Beth, love your writing talent. And the picture of the kids supervising is amazing. Love it! Hope to see you guys this fall sometime.

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