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Tracy: Thank You Doesn’t Seem Enough

Jordan, Montana – The cleanup has begun.

When I make that last round and climb down the ladder for the last time, it never fails to create a ping in my soul. I don’t even know if the word, “ping”, is the correct way of defining the feeling that happens. Why does this happen? I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Sometimes, I really wish I was like others who do a little happy dance when it’s over. Instead, I’m always wishing there was just one more field to head to.

Z Crew The days end much chillier than they have. The cooler air reminds me that summer is quickly coming to an end and winter is just around the corner.

Z Crew The great vastness of Montana never ceases to amaze me…and that big, beautiful sky!

Z Crew The rugged terrain made the days challenging yet enjoyable.

I recently replied to one of our followers, Allan Kuntz, when he told me not to be sad that it’s over. Maybe this will sort of explain the how and why:

“I know it’s silly to be sad when the end is here. I wish I could pinpoint just exactly what makes me feel that way. I should be in a hurry to get home. Home to see my kids and grand kids. And I AM. It’s leaving the harvest world that makes me sad. I think it’s the simplicity of the whole experience. Living in a 40 foot trailer, with just what you need, waking up to either sun or rain, no clock watching and working so closely with Jim. When we get home, we become ruled by the calendar and clock once again. No longer will I wonder what day it is. We will be pulled in a thousand different directions and rarely spend good, quality time together. We’ll be under the same roof but our worlds no longer collide. I think I got a bit carried away with my thoughts. ? Anyway, thanks for continuing to follow our journey – our ups and our downs. I pray that He has us out there again next year. I don’t know what I will do when the decision is made to no longer do what we do.”

Z Crew Moving from field to field in Montana sometimes means the combine becomes a very large ATV.

Z Crew No filter…no words!

We probably take a lot more time to cleanup and prepare for the road home than most. It’s always been that way. The combine, trucks, pickups and the camper will be cleaned like they’ve not been cleaned all summer. Jim will take the time to do maintenance on the vehicles for the long trip home (it’s just shy of 1,000 miles, one way). I think it’s just easier for both of us to do it here rather than when we get home. Once we get “home, home”, there will be so much more to do; having more would just be too overwhelming.

The house will need to be de-webbed (spiders move in BIG time as soon as we lock the door) and cleaned, the yard will have a summers worth of weeds waiting to be pulled and then there’s fall harvest to prepare for. The schedules will become filled…immediately.

Having the cleaning and maintenance work done before we get home eliminates one more thing that needs to be done.

Fall harvest is right around the corner. Always in the past, this has just meant Jim and the Beast heading to a local farmer (whom he’s cut for 31 harvests) and I am done with the harvest world. Not this year. I was asked by a neighbor to run their New Holland combine so I’ve really got to make use of my time a bit more efficiently so everything gets done before harvest starts up again.

Z Crew September 1 – last day of wheat harvest 2018.

Z Crew I had a few spectators as I finished my last field of the season.

Z Crew The final dump.

Z Crew We spent the evening working on cleaning the header. These Montana sunsets will be missed!

This will be my last update for the 2018 All Aboard Wheat Harvest. I’ve thought about what I wanted to say to you, our readers, and haven’t come up with anything more than thank you. Thank you for finding this to be worthy of your time. Thank you for leaving the comments – they reinforce to me that you’re actually out there and read my words. Thank you for your support and encouragement. And, mostly, thank you for your prayers. I know they work…just look back at how we began this summer . Although I am finished writing for AAWH, I will continue updating my personal blog. Hop on over to that page (nebraskawheatie.com) if you want to know what the heck the Z Crew is up to.

Thank you to our customers! If it weren’t for you, we would have no reason to be out here on the road doing what we do. We began 2018 with one job. I put the desperate call out on social media and the rest is history.  A HUGE thank you to those who helped line up jobs in Chase, Kansas, Limon, Colorado and back to Jordan, Montana. Thank you to our customer in Garden City, Kansas. You’ve kept us around for quite a few years (except when the hail wiped every acre out in 2017) and we appreciate your loyalty!

As for the Combine Cam…well, I did the best I could considering the lack of cell service in the areas we were working. Maybe one day (hopefully soon), more rural areas will have the much-needed service to keep up with the rest of the world. Maybe they really don’t want it (and I wouldn’t blame them one bit if they didn’t). However, it makes doing a job way more challenging when you can’t do the job. Many heartfelt thanks goes to Grant and Mike with Kiowa County Media Center for all they did to help me when there was a need. It’s a team – one that I’m pretty proud of…these two do AMAZING things!

Last, but definitely NOT least, thank you to Kylie, High Plains Journal and the sponsors (John Deere, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, AgriPro and Unverferth) of the All Aboard Wheat Harvest!! Without you and this platform, we couldn’t continue to share our journey or continue to teach others about what it takes to get food on their table. Our job takes perseverance, dedication, long days, long weeks and a whole lotta faith! Just like everyone else involved in agriculture…except we take it on the road.

Until next time…it’s been “reel”!!

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


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