All Aboard Harvest | Laura: The middle of somewhere
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Laura: The middle of somewhere

Eastern Colorado – Due to a lack of urban centers, I’m guessing a lot of people would deem where we’re currently cutting the middle of nowhere. It is true we are miles and miles from the nearest village or town, but despite all that, “I” would say we’re in the middle of somewhere. That somewhere is beautiful. Brave little houses and farmsteads dot the landscape — those few still willing to take on the unpredictable windswept prairie. Signs of days gone by are here too. I see the abandoned one-room school house and the occasional forgotten skeleton of a house that was once a happy home. Who were these people that once inhabited these spots, and what became of them? Song birds flutter on the breeze. The swish-swish of wheat and grass can be heard, and in the words of Louis Lamar, “The wind, always the wind.” Cattle peacefully chew the grass. And the view… one can see for miles. 

It’s out here that there are few distractions. One can think out here, breathe out here, and just be. Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky that I am to see these places that most rarely, if ever do. I have to think that a lot of the world’s problems could be overcome if we just took a little R&R on the prairie to clear the air in our souls and minds. 

It was out here in the “middle of somewhere” that we had our epic picnic. There were several storms in the area, and initially it looked like it just might miss us. The rain danced in the distance all the while creeping ever closer.  As luck would have it, I arrived at the the field just in time to watch it let lose. Combines had dumped, trucks and cart were tarped, and machines flew in from the field.  The storm brought a temperature change and that rain was ice cold!

It was decided, since it was a ways back to town (understatement), and the food wasn’t getting any warmer, we would just drive out of the storm and eat in the country.  I don’t know why that moment was so neat to me but it was. We drove several miles in the opposite direction, parked on the side of the road, and I dished out our spaghetti lunch.  It was no one but us for miles and almost like our own private dinner and movie show watching the storm creep ever closer.  All too soon as we were finishing up as the temperature changed and the rain started. 

The whole time, the refrain of a song sung by Dwight Yoakum that was popular when I was a kid, kept floating in my head. 

I’m a thousand miles from nowhere
Time don’t matter to me
‘Cause I’m a thousand miles from nowhere
And there’s no place I want to be

Time stood still just for a minute while I watched that storm roll in and ate my still warm spaghetti. No, on this rainy Saturday, there’s no (other) place I want to be.

High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Laura)

The showers didn’t look very deep at this point.

High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Laura)

Another view of the storm.

High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Laura)

I loved this old school house with the storm in the background.

High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Laura)

The cows were much more intrigued by me than the approaching storm.

High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Laura)

The cloud formations were just fascinating.  But as a former science teacher, I’m easily amused!

High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Laura)

I hopped out to catch this just as the rain started.  The rain and air temperature was freezing cold!  The wind really picked up too.  You can see the grass bending in the breeze.

High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Laura)

Glad our family got to spend some time with us on the road.

High Plains Harvesting 2017 (Laura)

Love the rain dancing behind the crew in this photo.

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

  • Tracy
    Posted at 13:00h, 22 July

    I loved this!!!!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 19:05h, 22 July

      Thanks, Tracy! 🙂

  • Greg Hallstrom
    Posted at 05:41h, 23 July

    Nothing like life on the prairie where one can see for miles.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 11:06h, 25 July

      I agree, Greg! The prairie is my happy place! 🙂

  • Rhonda
    Posted at 09:57h, 23 July

    What an awesome description! I love the old schoolhouse in the wheat field, makes me think of my Grandma Fauley and her teaching days! Harvest always brings back memories of long forgotten days of cutting wheat with my grandparents, Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Hed! Thanks for the reminders, ????

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 11:05h, 25 July

      I’m so glad it brought back good memories, Rhonda! 🙂 Hope you guys are doing well!

  • Katie
    Posted at 10:29h, 23 July

    This is just gorgeous! What a memory to make!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 11:04h, 25 July

      Such a great memory it is! Thanks, Katie! 🙂

  • Lori
    Posted at 15:32h, 23 July

    Love your pictures and writing! Makes me feel that I am there. Continued safe travels!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 11:06h, 25 July

      Thanks so much, Lori! I’m glad it connected with you!

  • Linda
    Posted at 16:54h, 23 July

    Beautiful pictures and perspective, Laura!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 11:06h, 25 July

      Thanks, so much Linda! 🙂 Hope you guys are doing well!

  • Jessica keller
    Posted at 09:27h, 24 July

    This was so good Laura! I’m going to send it to Charlie because he talks about being able to just breathe and refocus on what’s important in life when he comes across these places to. You described it so well! And the pictures are fantastic!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 11:04h, 25 July

      Thanks so much, Jessica! I’m glad you guys can relate. We miss you guys!

  • Judy Sweeney
    Posted at 08:34h, 25 July

    Excellent! Wonderfully done. LOVED IT – OUTstanding.
    Thank YOU!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 11:03h, 25 July

      Thank you so much, Judy! So glad you loved it! 🙂

  • Betty Budd
    Posted at 12:48h, 25 July

    Laura: Loved your well written story. I could identify with this story as I have, a long time ago, helped in the harvest by driving the tractor that was pulling the combine. We had to get out of the field so we did not get stuck when a rain story came after watching it come from a ways away. Our small crew had some of those picnics and they were the best. My favorite part of this story is reference to the quiet, forever view and I love to go back to the western Kansas area because its beautiful, vast and a place where your mind can be refreshed. Yes it somewhere, its in God’s special country.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 00:20h, 26 July

      Betty, its so neat to hear that you can relate and have first hand experience with the picnics. Thanks for sharing your story with me! 🙂

  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 19:13h, 27 July

    You’ve got those storm pic’s dialed in Laura !! Sure lucky that the storm didn’t have some hail in it.Here in the Cochrane AB. area that type of temp swing would be the Great White Combine,summer version.Here in Alberta ,we also have the fall version Snow !! I sure miss the quite times of the Land.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 22:04h, 27 July

      I think there was some hail a little up the road, unfortunately. I can’t even begin to think about snow, Tom! I just can’t! 🙂 We did have cooler temperatures today and tonight it feels like fall. I am looking forward to that!

  • Norman Rotruck
    Posted at 13:02h, 28 July

    Love that song by Dwight Yoakum, one of my favorite artists! Your descriptions of “the middle of somewhere” were spot on. Been there and have experienced the same. Envy you. Enjoy and safe travels. Warmest regards…

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 22:46h, 02 August

      Thanks, Norman! I’m glad this struck a chord with you!