09 Jun Trailer House Livin’
Claude, Texas –
“Who needs a house up on a hill
When you can have one on four weels
And take it anywhere the wind might blow?
You don’t ever have to mow the yard
Just hang a map and throw a dart
And pray to God the engine starts and go”
Kacey Musgraves – “My House”
Trailer house livin…you either love it or hate it. I happen to be on the side of lovin it.
We made it to Claude, Texas on Friday evening. The trailer court we were told to go to was a super place to land. It was flat and didn’t cause us much trouble for getting the Cottage set up for a lengthy stay. However, one situation that made my insides fill with anxiety was the fact there was no sewer hookup. This would mean a little effort on our part. One that we had never had to deal with on harvest before. But, our intentions were to go to Amarillo and purchase a cart to dump the holding tank in. An inconvenience but we would get through it.
Sunday morning we moved the Cottage to our new home in the country. With the yard being a bit rolling, it took a bit of ingenuity on Jim’s part to level the house and still keep it solid enough to withstand a strong wind. You see, when the jacks are extended too much, the house is a bit more wobbly than you want. Jim had an idea but it would require another trip to the home store in Amarillo. He knew what he wanted to do. I just offered my help when he needed it. This is what he came up with. At least now if the storms roll in, we won’t have to worry too much about tipping or falling off the jacks because we have a solid foundation!
When we began this adventure, we borrowed my grandparent’s trailer house. Grandma wasn’t one to do anything but load it up and head down the highway. That’s what I thought it should be like when we decided to make this adventure our livelihood. I didn’t know any better.
I met a harvester friend many, many years ago. I was invited into her trailer house and realized hers was more than just a trailer house – it was a home. I decided right then and there that I wanted my Cottage on Wheels to be a home. So, I created it to be that. I began hanging pictures, quilts and had flowers. So, when I was asked the same ‘ole question year after year, “Don’t you miss being home?” I could say, “Nope! I have everything in my 40 ft. of space that I have at home.”
Is trailer living easy? Not all the time. It seems like if something is going to go wrong, it will. For instance, toward the end of last summer, the washing machine decided to quit. What did I do then? Well, load the laundry up once a week and head to Limon, CO (40+ miles away). The Colorado farmers offered their washing machine, of course, but I opted to just take a whole bunch of dirty clothes to the laundromat and get it done at once. It was also the time to get stocked up on groceries, too.
So, before we left this year, Jim told me to attempt to run a load of laundry in the machine. Guess what…it worked! Go figure. It continues to work – until we get 40+ miles away from town again, I’m sure.
This year my coffee pot decided to quit the second day on the road. Not acceptable! So, to Walmart in Amarillo was a must. The electric water heater decided to quit. I’m not sure if Jim got that fixed or not – thank goodness for the propane backup! We’ve had the refrigerator quit in the past. Now THAT’S one that I don’t want to happen again any time soon! Living out of a large cooler is not fun! What I’m getting at is this – it’s not always easy but it’s what we make of it. It gets to the point where you just shake your head in frustration and either live with it or attempt to fix it.
I decided I wanted to make some cookies. I just saw a chocolate chip cookie recipe that was shared on a Facebook page I recently created. Let me tell you about my cookie fiasco and then I’ll tell you more about the Facebook page. I had all the ingredients – or so I thought – and thought making a batch and freezing them for the soon-to-be-needed lunches was a terrific idea. Since I don’t have my cooks with me this summer, I have to rethink how to do things.
So…I had butter. Great. Next is the sugar. Both brown and white sugar was needed. I pull out the brown sugar container and could tell I probably didn’t have enough. Right on! I was short ½ cup. Well, I’ll just add that much more white sugar (which I did). That shouldn’t be too noticeable, right? I creamed my butter and sugar, added the eggs and vanilla. Next, I’m supposed to mix the dry ingredients together and add them to the creamed mixture. 4 cups of flour is what it calls for. I pull out my flour container and can tell right away I’m lacking what I need. I measure 3 ½ cups. I’m going to just use what I have and hope it all works out. It requires 24 hour refrigeration, so I’ll let you know how they turn out.
So, now about the Facebook page I created. I was once sort of scolded by an experienced harvester’s wife about never giving the women of this industry the credit they deserved. I have never forgotten this because she was right. The women of this industry are the silent partners and never get the recognition they deserve.
I’ve been waiting for God to open doors. A few of them had been slammed shut and my heart was needing an opening. With an idea and some encouragement by a couple of great friends in this industry, I decided to begin a Facebook page dedicated to the women of harvest. I sent Marji Guyler-Alaniz (founder of FarmHer) a note and told her of my idea. I asked her if it would be okay if I named it HarvestHER – sort of going off the movement she had created. I wanted to provide a place for the silent partners to tell their stories and be able to have the support of knowing there are others out there who understand the challenges of keeping a family and a crew healthy and happy. It’s been a figure-this-out-as-we-go process. Thank goodness people are forgiving! Right now I have four women providing me with their daily stories, recipes and pictures. I’m really excited about the possibility this can offer those of us who are the backbone of the crew. If you’re interested in knowing what it takes to keep it all together and working perfectly (or not so perfectly), check it out!
The chocolate chip recipe that I’m attempting – imperfections and all – is the one posted by Randi Beckley of Beckley Harvesting and can be found in the HarvestHER’s Recipe album. As I said, I’ll let you know how it turns out with the lack of ingredients.
We’re going to test the wheat to see where we’re at. It’s not that we’re waiting on rain or wet fields. We’re waiting for the green tint to leave. We’re hoping the heat of the next several days will make it happen soon!
“It don’t matter where we go
We’ll never be alone
Anywhere beside you is a place that I’ll call home”
Kacey Musgraves – “My House”
All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. The Z Crew can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.