All Aboard Harvest | Tracy: Be patient heart…it will only hurt a little while
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Tracy: Be patient heart…it will only hurt a little while

Manley, Nebraska – The preparations have been ongoing for quite some time. The talk about harvest and when we’ll be leaving has been happening for more than a month. I’ve often thought about creating a sign and start wearing it every day about the first of April. What would this sign say? It would say…”I don’t know when we’re leaving”. Maybe I should just create a t-shirt! So, THINKING about harvest and DOING harvest are two different things…two different worlds. 

The words came out of his mouth last night – after I returned from hanging out with the grandkids for most of the day. “I think I have a plan. Do you want to hear it?” Nope! I don’t want to hear it (but I guess I better). I guess I better start wrapping my mind around the fact that everything I’m experiencing right now with the kids… all that’s involved with my yard… all the summertime ideas and plans being made… are about to come CRASHING down and fast! I have to step away from this world and into another one much sooner than I’m ready. No time to think about it. No time to try to “make a deal” with the planner. It’s the hard reality that I will be leaving the rest of my family for four months. 

Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!

I spent most of yesterday with Jamie and the kids. We took them on a picnic to a local State Park, watched Eli play his last soccer “game” and then went to their house to help plant a few trees. Nora kept saying, “faster Gamma, faster!”

Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!

Jamie and Eli.

Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!

Taking a hike to go see the fish.

Jim and I spent most of our married life building a tight family. And the biggest reason this happened was the closeness we experienced due to this thing called harvest. We spent every summer together, in close quarters, working together, fighting together, yelling at each other and loving each other. It was forced family time. How else can you explain six people living in a 40 foot space? We learned what part of the trailer house not to be in during those rainy days (the bedroom while papa bear was napping). We invented crazy rainy day games (like seeing who can crawl through the empty space of the coffee table without getting stuck or who can keep a spoon on the end of their nose the longest). We learned what jobs we each had to do to make the loading process go faster on moving days. Who rode with who and what needed to be gathered to make the roadtrip a little more bearable. Forced family time…it’s the greatest!!

Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

Eli taking his soccer medal off to show his mom and dad. He was so very proud!

The closeness of our family still exists, but it’s just so much harder to get everyone together. And when I heard the plans, it instantly made me sick to my stomach. The plans that won’t involve the rest of the family anymore. The plan is to leave this afternoon with the first load. It’s real. It’s not just something I think about anymore. It’s the goodbyes that I have denied happening that is eating most at my soul today. I HATE goodbyes! I hate the way they make my heart feel. I’ve never been good with them. 

When the girls used to leave us to go back to school, I would cry whenever I saw their towel hanging in the bathroom. I had to empty the visual reminders of them as soon as I could so I could move on with the rest of the day. The rest of the summer. I knew they had to leave and I knew we would be together again, but I couldn’t convince my heart of that at that very moment. 

That’s how I feel today. I know we’ll be together again after this journey we’re about to embark on. I know all of this and you’d think it wouldn’t hurt as much…and yet it does.

Grow little trees, grow! I told Eli, “Now, every time I talk to you on the phone this summer, I will ask you how your new trees are doing”. He didn’t care. 🙂

The second trip will happen quickly after we return in a few days. The final goodbyes will have to be said and I will have to get used to a world that doesn’t involve seeing the kids for a length of time. In the meantime, the grandkids will grow, a new baby will make its appearance, weekends will be celebrated without us, holidays will be just another day in the field, weeds will have a heyday in my gardens…life will go on. The harvest world and the home, home world don’t exist together. They are two separate worlds. Two worlds that are so completely different and the only way they can ever come together is when we’re all together again.

So be patient heart…it will only hurt for a little while. 

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Tracy Zeorian can be reached at

  • nancy eberts
    Posted at 07:57h, 27 May

    Oh Tracey this is the absolute truth. I can relate on so many levels. It happens EVERY year! I would need one of those shirts as well 😉

    • Z Crew
      Posted at 08:18h, 27 May

      Of course you can relate! You’re living in that same world with me. It’s good to have great friends who can understand the hurt and know what we’re each going through isn’t so weird – only to those who have no idea. Thank you, Nanc!

  • Brittany
    Posted at 08:19h, 27 May

    ❤️ This! We have been “thinking” harvest for a very long time… the day the “plan” is it into motion has. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m waiting for the 48 hour warning!

    You say it so well for us harvesters.

    • Z Crew
      Posted at 20:34h, 29 May

      Thank you so much, Brittany! This means the world to me. Hope to get to see you SOMEWHERE on the road!

  • Gayla Anderson
    Posted at 14:01h, 27 May

    I’m glad I read this it was good to know I’m not living alone in my “2 worlds.” This is exactly how I deal with the departures and the arrivals; sad I was leaving but excited harvest was beginning! Even though my kids are grown and have homes of their own, the thought of leaving “HQ” still stews in my belly. I get just as emotional when I pull out of the yard with the last load of equipment as when the kids and I would have to leave Montana for Oklahoma to start school in the fall. That feeling never leaves. My husband always reminds me no matter how long we are gone, the togetherness we miss out on or the loneliness and seclusion I feel after we are home for 15 minutes it will be like we never even left. I have found out he’s exactly right lol the chaos of the “home world” is always sitting on my door step about 15 minutes after getting home. ?

    • Z Crew
      Posted at 22:17h, 29 May

      Whew!!! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who goes through the difficulties of transitioning between home, home and harvest. It pulls on my heart so strongly each time I have to go through it. THANK YOU for taking the time to leave your note. It helps to know the feelings are shared by others.