Well, we have another harvest in the books this week. Harvest is a great time, as it culminates a year’s worth of work and literally gives you the fruit of your labor. I always tell Mike that whether we have a bumper crop or a lean year, he puts in the same work. It is always a blessing to have enough to pay the bills and have enough to live off of after it is all said and done. Those years that you have more, there is always more metal and dirt to be purchased, pouring it back in the business.
This year we had record yields on soybeans in some fields. Corn’s record was in 2014. With the spotty rains we had this year, each field may have its own story. But we can’t complain, it was a good year.
Yields are not always the story of a good year. This year we were reminded early on that farming is a very dangerous job. After losing a fellow farmer, Gary Brown, in a farm accident, we all were extra conscious of the dangers around us. Lack of sleep, urgency to keep things moving, fluke accidents, they all come into play adding up to the dangers faced.
I was reminded of last fall when I was hauling grain. I was at the Verona farm, hooking the pickup up to wagons on the road. Being aware of traffic on the road, I didn’t want to take any more time than necessary. Doing the same thing I had done countless times in the past, I backed up, lined up, put the pin in the hitch and put the wire in the pin. I jumped in the truck and started pulling. I came to an intersection, turned right, then as I soon negotiated a curve in the road, I saw the most curious thing my rearview window. I noticed the wagon had not taken the curve with me! I curved right and it went straight! Straight into a cornfield. It was like it was in slow motion! But if you followed my description closely, you may have realize that the wagon had to go left of center to cross the road into the cornfield. I realized if someone was coming the other way, the wagon could have taken out another car. It was full and heavy, and the cost could have been much greater than the rows of downed corn my wagon ran over.
There was a lot of praising God going on at that moment, I must tell you. What grace that he kept everyone safe! It was the safest accident imaginable. But I was still puzzled as to how it happened. I went back to the scene and examined the pin, the wire, etc. and took pictures to study. I finally surmised that I didn’t hook it up properly (OBVIOUSLY!) and finally figured out how. The hitch was to fit between the two layers of the wagon tongue, but apparently in my haste, they had both been either over or under the hitch. The wire stripped out. It was just a crazy mistake.
So fast forward to this year. (As I type, I realize that putting all of these things in one blog may be a little crazy, as these things don’t usually happen that often!) Last week I had some doozies! We were filling the grain bin. I was emptying the semi (something I haven’t done much at this point in time) and had to raise the bed as I was dumping the corn. As soon as it was high enough, I went back to the back, but as I got there, corn started hitting me in the head (HARD!….like DUMPING!). I ran back to the cab and lowered it. I reluctantly walked back to see how big the pile of corn on the ground was. Well, let’s just say I set a record.
(This picture was after I shoveled a while!)
I found the shovel and did the inevitable…started shoveling. I shoveled, rested, shoveled, etc. Finally, Missy came over and helped me finish. While she and I were shoveling, there was this cable with a hook on it that hung down from the auger (seen in photo above). It kept getting in our way so I just hooked it on something. We got the job done, then rested. She went home and I started supper.
While cooking I couldn’t figure out what I was hearing outside, so went to the porch to find Mike in disbelief. I had forgotten all about the hook (forgot to unhook it). I had hooked it to the back of the truck. When he returned, he jumped in the truck and moved it, and totaled the auger the hook was attached to. We had just bought this used auger in September (one month ago)!
Well, although this was a very regrettable mistake I made, I want to concentrate on the positives. How thankful I am that no one was hurt in this accident. How thankful I am that I had remembered to call the insurance company (one month previous) to add this to our policy. How thankful I am that when Mike bought it, they had two alike and the other one was still sitting on the lot! (Many times finding the right equipment needed is an issue too.) So not only was no one hurt, but it didn’t even hold up the harvest progress to speak of.
As you can see, I am sharing MY mistakes. But don’t think I’m the only one that can make them. Another farmer (who shall remain nameless) at our house lost a couple wagons in transport, and another farmer (who shall remain nameless) locked both sets of keys in the pickup. This all happened within a day or two of my incident. Once again, no one was hurt, and all is now well (with a little help from AAA).
So I choose to look at these things with a thankful heart. One could be negative, but it’s obvious to me that we have been blessed. I have to tell you, though, I’m glad harvest is over this year.