All Aboard Harvest | Tracy: Wheat harvest 2019 … it’s been a blur!
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Tracy: Wheat harvest 2019 … it’s been a blur!

I think about this often. So, forgive me if it seems a bit “out there.” What I’m talking about is current experiences and adventures will one day be looked back on as memories. And if the experiences and adventures aren’t documented, either stored somewhere deep in your memory or by other means—pictures, stories, blogs, friends—they have only happened. A day lived with no return.

Harvest is something that never really goes away for me. It just takes on a different stage of the year. For six months of the year, we live it. For the other six months, we think about it. So it is part of our lives—always. And, to me, it is more than just a job. It is who I am. It is who my kids are. It is who the Z Crew is. It is because of harvest that we’ve met so many wonderful people and have experienced some of the very best memories. Harvest is a life experience.

So, when I reflect on the 2019 wheat harvest, it begins in early spring. The anticipation of what is just around the corner. The idea of being on the road—away from the rest of the family—is just that, a thought. An idea. As the days get longer and spring turns to summer, the packing and loading is more than just a thought—it’s reality.

And all the while the activity of preparing for the harvest is happening, it’s also becoming a memory. It’s becoming something I will look back on with a longing in my soul. That’s how it is for me the entire time we’re away. The days are so full of doing what it takes to get the job done, it’s not until those days have become a memory that I long for them again.

When I think back to how it used to be for Jim and I with little kids, a hired hand and two trailer houses to attend to, it’s like a completely different life. And, in a way, it is. Harvest has been so much of my life—as far back as when I was a little girl—and who I am, I often wonder what it will be like when it’s no longer a part of my life. Sort of a scary thought but I know it’s just around the corner. We can’t do this forever, even though I wish we could.

Yep, I’ve gotten way off subject and much deeper than I intended.

We got into the game much later this summer than we have for quite some time. We only made four stops–Chase, Kansas; Garden City, Kansas; and Tribune, Kansas. Then we made that long move to Jordan, Montana. We cut a record number of bushels in all locations. I can’t believe how blessed the farmers were this year. And we all know the price of wheat stinks, so maybe more than usual will see them through another year.

We certainly saw our fair share of rain days and slow starts! Ate quite a few sandwiches—93 and counting. Bought two bags of ice nearly every day. Pumped gallons and gallons of diesel fuel. Consumed plenty of coffee and iced tea. And bumped over the same bumps in the road at least three times with each move.

All of these experiences have now become memories of the 2019 harvest. And you’ve been there the whole time … experiencing all of them with us. Thank you for following the adventure for another year. I oftentimes wonder if the story gets boring. Sometimes, though, it’s that boring sameness that brings comfort.

I also want to give credit where credit is due to those who made it possible for me to share this crazy ride with you–High Plains Journal, Grant Neuhold with Kiowa County Media Center (Combine Cam), John Deere, Unverferth Manufacturing Company, Inc. and the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. You have given me the platform to tell my stories. To share with those who know nothing about this lifestyle and to rekindle the love of harvest for others. And I appreciate this more than you can know.

Just what is it about wheat harvest that stirs the emotions deep in one’s soul? I believe it’s a whole lot of everything that happens at the time that isn’t fully understood until it becomes a memory. And once it’s a memory, we long for it to happen again.

Until next time … “Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel.”–Unknown

Be sure to follow the Z Crew on Facebook,  Twitter and my personal blog, Nebraska Wheatie, if you want to keep up with what the heck we’re up to!

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

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  • Allen Goode
    Posted at 09:33h, 05 September

    Thanks Tracy for your blogs. As a former cutter ( corn & beans) you summed up my thoughts and feels. Thank goodness for pictures.

    • z crew
      Posted at 23:53h, 05 September

      Sometimes I question the words and thoughts but if someone else can relate to what I’m trying to say without scratching their head, then it was a success. With your comment, now I can feel like it was a success. Thank you for taking the time to write your note. And thank you for following the journey! There’s a connection between cutters that only cutters can understand. Have a great winter, Allen!

  • Gene Benson
    Posted at 13:26h, 05 September

    Never get tired or bored, reliving old memories through you of the days we spent the the custom harvest business. Thanks!

    • z crew
      Posted at 23:50h, 05 September

      This is good to hear, Gene! You know, as well as I do, harvest tends to be the same thing yet different – in some small way. Harvest gets deep down in the soul and I know you understand! Hope to see you next summer for Harvest 2020!

  • John Van Meter
    Posted at 14:35h, 05 September

    Has been a great year! I enjoy following you.

    • z crew
      Posted at 23:48h, 05 September

      Thank you, John! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the journey! Hope to see you again next summer.

  • Betty Budd
    Posted at 20:31h, 05 September

    Thanks to Tracy for her heart felt report of harvesting experiences. Many years ago I was running the John Deer tractor that was pulling a combine in my Dad’s fields. I was no more than 14. Its an amazing experience and the gift we got from the abundance of our crops was an unforgettable experience. I have pictures but the thrill of signaling the truck that would unload my full bin was just a thrill only to be felt almost impossible to describe. It was part of my growing up life and will always be a precious memory.

    • z crew
      Posted at 23:48h, 05 September

      Thank you for your note, Betty! Harvest has a way of creating the most heart-felt, deep emotions and memories. And when you have any opportunity to re-create those memories, it seriously swells the heart to the point of tears. I get this. Even going through some towns we once visited while on harvest stirs some pretty deep emotions. I often wonder if anyone else feels this way about the experiences of harvest. I hope I’m not the only crazy one. But, I think you fully understand. ❤

  • Lyndell Wood
    Posted at 17:18h, 07 September

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

    • z crew
      Posted at 23:00h, 08 September

      I’m really glad you were a part of our journey, Lyndell! Hope to see you again next year for wheat harvest 2020!

  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 20:33h, 09 September

    Time stands still for no one ,yes the summer of 2019 was like gone, Glad that you got to cut some amazing yields and had Eli, Nora & Ben come to see what was going on.. If I could reach though this computer I would give you a Big Canadian Hug !! Good stuff Tracy !!

    • z crew
      Posted at 20:56h, 13 September

      You are such a strong voice of encouragement for me! Thank YOU! By the way…Jim has been wearing his new tshirt quite regularly. I should send a picture of him in it! I can feel the hug – it pretty strong in the words you type. 🙂
      God bless!

  • Neil Hadley
    Posted at 20:41h, 18 September

    Always look forward to your posts. Have a great off season. Thanks.