26 May Christy: Leaving it all behind
Worthington, Minnesota—What an exciting week! It’s also the week that I dread the most. Getting our home and camper ready for moving south is a big undertaking. It all comes together though, and not always in the way we expect.
I’ve been making sure Zoey gets her last few visits with her hometown friends in before we leave. My sweet friend and neighbor took Zoey on this last week for an afternoon so I could do my best to finish packing. I think it’s needless to say she enjoyed a chaos-free zone, playing with their new puppy, and having the best supper spread she could ask for. Friends like my neighbor are hard to come by, and I feel so blessed to have her in my life.
The crew took off for Texas on Wednesday, only to return back home outside of Sibley, Iowa, due to truck issues. You wouldn’t think that would be the case when you’re gearing up all spring long, but it happens.
The service truck ended up needing a new clutch, so everyone returned home for one more night’s stay at Gary’s shop. Everything got fixed and they were able to head down the road again early Thursday morning.
It’s hard watching someone else pull my camper out of the drive knowing I can’t be the one behind the wheel. We’ll make do until this Saturday when Zoey finishes school a week early and we can head that way. As far as I can tell for Saturday, we’ll bring Gary’s single wheel pickup with a fuel trailer. It’s about a twelve-hour drive. I figure if I load Zoey and Penny up around five in the morning, we’ll make it by supper.
We have a very diverse crew this year. We are really honored to be hosting J1 Visa trainees from Europe through the University of Minnesota. We have five people from England, one from Wales, one from Scotland, and two from Ireland. All these guys are incredibly interesting, sharing all the differences they’ve noticed since arriving. You’ll be hearing more about their experience here and in my videos to come.
Everyone else on the crew is from America—ranging everywhere from New York state, Tennessee, Missouri, and many other places. It’s hard to keep track. But I can tell you, I’m really impressed with each one’s work ethic and their ability to jump in and get jobs done.
We also decided to throw in a position for a crew cook. It’s become more than Rhonada and I can handle to cook for this crew of 20-plus people on our own. Chloe comes to us from Tennessee and has already proven to be an excellent addition with her recipes from the South. Hopefully she’ll share the recipes from these great meals she’s serving up.
With so many individuals from overseas, and all the changes to our ability to get Commercial Driver’s Licenses for our employees, we have been working hard to help everyone obtain their CDLs. It’s not an easy process these days. I’m pretty happy to report that six of our guys have earned their proper CDLs. More to come as well on that front.
It’ll be a busy weekend. What’s coming next will be what we see in the fields. Hopefully all goes well.
Christy Paplow can be reached at email@example.com.