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Tracy: Not Sure How To Feel Right Now

Manley, Nebraska—I found myself wishing for a patio set a couple of days ago. I’ve never had one. There are so many cute sets with matching pillows and I try to tell myself that maybe it would be okay to purchase one. After all, they are on sale right now. And then the practical side of my brain tells me that would just be plain dumb. I might get to use it for a couple of weeks and then I’d have to find a place to store it for the next three months.

Oh, and all those beautiful flowers and garden plants that greet you as you walk into the local Walmart or grocery store? Yeah, I find myself wishing I could buy oodles of them and plant to my heart’s content. But that would be plain dumb, as well.

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Before our first stop got all messed up and inconsistent, this rose bush was our gauge (or rose-ometer) for when to leave for harvest. It never failed—when it was in full-bloom, we were heading out the driveway. It hasn’t been that way for several years now and it appears it won’t be for this year either. 

Those things, along with missing family outings, birthdays, weddings and funerals are the things we harvesters miss out on if it happens to occur while we’re out gallivanting the highways. Our gypsy way-of-life tends to get in the way with anything that’s typical for summer or summer-time fun.

It used to be different for me when the girls were all tagging along. Everything that I could miss about home was right there with us. It didn’t matter if we were home or on the road, we were all together and that’s what mattered the very most.

It’s not like that anymore.

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A real family picture! We haven’t had one of these in forever. This was taken mid-December 2018. 

So, let’s have a Z Crew update…

The Hermesch family—Jamie, Curt, Eli, Nora and Ben—stay busy just like everyone else at this stage of the family game. Eli just graduated from preschool and will begin kindergarten in the fall. I’ll miss his first day of school. Nora will begin her preschool adventure this fall and Ben will turn two on July 24.

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Ohhhh…I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the adults were questioning the result of this picture! There certainly is no orneriness showing whatsoever!

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Eli’s Preschool graduation. We decided we needed a silly picture…

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…as well as a good one!

Jenna was the first of the Z Crew to write for All Aboard Wheat Harvest in 2009 and is still showing her coworkers at CLAAS of North America just how talented she is. I’m just so gosh darn proud of her! And, you should see her yard! She is so passionate about flowers and plants and it shows. If you know of a way to get rid of moles, she’d love to hear about it. Her yard is so beautiful, it just begs you to stay a while and enjoy it.

Taylor and Colten are still working on their farmhouse. They’re hoping to be moved in by the end of July. And there’s just a bit more pressure on making that happen as there will be an addition to their family. I’ll give you a hint—it’s not a room for the house. Yep, Baby Josoff, also known as Critter, will make his or her debut in late November. We’re all pretty excited to hold a baby again and add to the family tree.

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The two of them are just glowing with excitement!

Callie just finished her junior year at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Wow! Those years certainly zoom by in the blink of an eye. She’s fulfilling her dream, and mine, of going to Australia. She leaves on June 2 and will be studying for six weeks at The University of Sydney. Then she, and the others in her group, will take an additional week and tour the northern part of New Zealand before coming home. Dang! I wish I could go with her. Someone said I should just go. I told them I couldn’t … I’ve got a combine to drive! I’ll have to just live my dream through her pictures and adventures the next time I see her.

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“Hurry…let’s quick take a picture of the gang before we get too involved with cooking hot dogs and roasting marshmallows!” This was taken on Mother’s Day.

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This was also taken on Mother’s Day. We got an almost good smile from Jimbo.

And just like that, the cold northern wind has turned to a hot southern sort. Seems like we went from running the furnace to the air conditioner in just a matter of days. After the brutal winter—lower than normal temps and higher than normal snowfall—and all the rain and flooding we’ve had in eastern Nebraska, the farmers are taking advantage of a window of warmer and drier weather. Everywhere you look, you see tractors and planters on the horizon. For them, harvest seems so far away. And for us, it will soon be harvest time once again. The Beast is in the yard, the Cottage on Wheels will soon be in the driveway and it’s time to begin preparing ourselves for the 2019 wheat harvest. I’m not even sure how many years we’ve been doing this craziness. I guess we purchased our first combine 37 years ago.  That doesn’t include the years we helped my grandparents.

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Sometimes, I hear some not so “G” rated words coming from the belly of The Beast. Pre-harvest words, I’m guessing.

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Just hanging out in the backyard.

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This time of year, this is typically how I will find Jim when I walk up to the combine. Always with his back to me. 

I remember when my grandparents left for the summer, I knew it would be a long time before I would see them again. Now, we’re the grandparents who take off for the summer. I wonder what Eli and Nora think when we leave and they can’t come to the house to visit us? Ben doesn’t care now but of all three, he is the one that is most attached to his papa and loves the combine and trucks. Maybe one day, he will be the one to encourage his family to come visit a bit more often.

The transition from the “home, home” life to “harvest life” and days run by whether it’s sunny or rainy is so very difficult. Saying goodbye to the family, knowing we probably won’t see them again until we’re home in the fall gets to me every single year. However, once we’re on the road and the routine of harvest falls into place, then it’s the transition from “harvest life” back into the same world as everyone else with days run by the clock and schedules.

We’ve got a tremendous amount of work to do between now and then. To be honest with you … sometimes it’s so overwhelming, it would be easier to just stay home.

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And talking about work…I decided to rent this roll-off garbage container for two weeks. That’s the amount of time we would have to go through rooms and buildings and throw 37 years of “junk” away. As you can see, we got ‘er packed to the brim!

We’ll take 2019 harvest one day at a time. I learned a long time ago you can’t make plans and you can’t be in a hurry. I’m hopeful that we can stay busy once we get on the road and won’t have to search for “make up” acres like we’ve had to the past several years. It’s always most scary and hopeful when you begin because the journey is ahead of you. Once you’re out there, the challenges can almost seem more than you can bear. But, there’s that one thing that we need to remember above all else—we’re not in control of any of it. Our plans are not the same as God’s plans and His plans require discernment and patience.

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It just feels like The Beast is sitting here waiting for the day … the first day of harvest 2019!

I hope you’ll continue to follow us on this brand new journey! Stick with us and see where the roads will lead, experience the storms that attempt to challenge, and witness some of the most beautiful sunsets ever. And, if you feel like lifting up a prayer or two for the Z Crew … they’re much appreciated!

Until next time …”Keep your face toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.”—Walt Whitman

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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