04 Jun Sage: What a way to end the day.
I learned a long time ago it isn’t how you act in certain situations, it’s how you react to them. Some things are just out of your control and can test your cool. On harvest you learn you have to react to many things from repairing the combines to dealing with long lines at the elevator. I have learned that cooler heads prevail and the job will get done in a timely manner, so there is no reason to get upset about it. But there are still those days that test your patience.
Mine happened yesterday. We finished cutting one part of the field and had to road the combines 30 miles to the next one. The combines only go just over 20 miles-per-hour, so you can imagine how long it took. I have dealt with that my whole life so that didn’t bother me at all. We got to the field and started cutting and everything was going very smoothly. The combines were able to run efficiently and the haul was only five miles away, so it was great, until about 10:30 p.m.
I was just getting ready to take my last load and call it a night. I started off to town just like any routine trip, but was pulled over mid-way through town. I wasn’t speeding, if fact I thought he was going to ask why I was going slow, so I wasn’t sure why I was being pulled over. He came up to the window and said follow me. So we went around the courthouse and there he informed me that my license plate light was out. So I tried to fix it but just figured the bulb had gone bad. After that I figured he was just going to warn me and send me to the elevator to make it before they closed at 11:00 p.m., but I could not have been further from the truth.
He went on to weigh my truck, which took forever because I couldn’t get the truck over the tiny portable scales right. I was way under the legal limit and he was pretty surprised by that. I told him we had a scale on our grain cart that is pretty close to being on track. Then he checked all my lights, my windshield wipers and my air horn. I truly felt like I was being tested to get my CDL again. But after all was said and done, he just wrote me warnings for no license plate light, broken reverse light on the tractor and running with a train horn instead of an air horn (which is a Texas state law, not a federal law he informed me). He was extremely nice and patient, and I kept a cool head, even if I did miss getting to the elevator by 10 minutes.
I knew today would be better though, and it was. We finished the field we were on and then ran into wheat that was too wet to cut, and is going to be until Monday. So dad went out and luckily found a job that was close. We only had to road the combines 15 miles. Hopefully we can get a lot done tonight and finish it up tomorrow before we have to make the jaunt back to where our wet wheat is.
I could have gotten upset at the fact I was pulled over and missing the elevator, but it would have been in vain. He was just doing his job, as was I, even if it was almost midnight.
Sage Sammons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. All Aboard 2010 Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection.