24 Jun Home!
North central Kansas — Last Tuesday morning, I packed up the kids and a few necessities and hit the road for home. It was nearly the middle of the month and I needed to go home and catch up on the bills, pay payroll taxes and handle other related office responsibilities that couldn’t wait. Ryan thought he’d be home sometime Thursday or Friday, so we didn’t feel too bad about heading out as he planned to be cutting around home at the end of the week.
I get some butterflies when leaving the harvest trail. We were away from home for four weeks and one day (the kids went south a few days before harvest to see family). It may sound strange, but there is an assimilation process that takes place each time we go home. I realize that it’s not a long time to be away, but it’s an intense time and just “different.” At home you have to maintain that harvest intensity and tunnel vision while trying to juggle all the home things too. Despite the adjustments, I do feel fortunate to get to have a stop close to home and sleep in my own bed mid-season.
The trip home was to take a little under seven hours with no stops. However, one knows when traveling with a baby and a toddler, more (or a lot more) time need to be figured into the trip. I shouldn’t complain, though. They were really tough and traveled as well as they possibly could considering the miles.
Once I entered Comanche County, Kansas, the first Kansas county along our route, the wheat was just stunning. It was the picturesque amber waves of grain everyone thinks of when they think about wheat. It continued this way all the way home. Obviously, I was just doing a 65 mph drive-by, so I can’t speak to the actual quality, but cosmetically, it was the kind of wheat that almost makes you want to look away and speak in hushed tones as if to avoid inviting any unforeseen catastrophe.
Mom met us along the route and took Little Man for a few nights so Lady A and I could get some paperwork done. My mother and mother-in-law are kind to help us when needed. Whether it’s childcare, sewing light-reducing curtains for the camper so the kids can nap better (thanks Mom!), cat sitting, mail collecting, house plant watering, or just moral support, they are always willing be there and are so appreciated!
As it is with harvest, unexpected things pop up and we had some changes in Kansas. With some creative thinking, a new plan was devised and Mark would finish at Kiowa and move to the Victoria, Kansas, area while Ryan would continue to plug away in Texas. Of course we were disappointed that Ryan wouldn’t be home as planned, but during the busy season if there are acres to cut, we must focus on the task at hand. After all, you can’t cut wheat in the winter. We’re thankful for the modern convenience of FaceTime.
We caught a rain last Friday night and the crew told me they received 2 inches at our farmer’s home place and an inch north east in another area where his fields are located. They were able to resume cutting Monday afternoon near Gorham, Kansas. Two members of the crew took a combine and truck to the Scott City area and are cutting with a farmer down there.
As for me, I am plugging away on the paperwork, taking meals to Mark and the crew as they cut around the area, and try to balance our home life with the kids. I have milk jugs with July expiration dates in my fridge. Where is this summer going?
All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. You can contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org.