I remember back in High School we were sitting in ag class watching a movie about farmer “Gotta Go” Joe. It was a safety video about how this farmer was always on the go and always going too fast. I think he even got his arm cut off at one point, although it was a cartoon so not nearly as gross as that sounds. Sometimes I think back to that video and realize that for as much as we made fun of a laughed at Gotta Go Joe, I know that many days I become that farmer. I’m a very clumsy person by nature so when I speed up those clumsy legs and arms, usually it just ends with my dad looking at me and laughing.
On our operation I’m in charge of the spraying. And if you’ve never been a sprayer operator you may not realize the angst that comes along with trying to find that perfect condition of day to get your chemicals on. There are chemicals that have to be sprayed in the rain, sprayed right before a rain, 1 hr before a rain, need hours to dry before a rain, right before only a quarter-inch of rain…the list goes on! And I never realized before having this responsibility how frustrating it could be to find that perfect condition.
So I’m outside looking up at the sky, I’m back inside looking at the Doppler radar looking for clouds, back outside, calling the neighbors across the prairie…I’m driving myself crazy with situations in my head of what to do. Finally the decision is made, I need one hour to get the spray on, one hour of dry time, and the clouds are looking like they will dump a small quarter or so inch of rain in just a few short hours…it’s GO TIME! But because of this I have to hit Gotta Go Joe speed in order to hit this window…I’m off!!
First thing is bring the sprayer around, I trip on the steps scraping my knee. Brush off and keep going, I tell myself. While the computer warms up for my GPS; I’m outside again, jumping onto the truck to mix the chemical at warp speed. The gallons are climbing, I’m stressing, the clouds are encroaching. The tank is mixed and still in fast time, I jump off the truck, hit the large fill hose and twist my ankle. AHHH…shake it off, I only have a few precious minutes! I make it out to the field in record time, flush the booms to get the chemical to the nozzles. I have to jump down again, forgetting my recently twisted ankle and wince in pain, could have done that a little more gingerly, but I’m still behind, the clouds are still coming! Then for the final straw as I’m getting back up from unplugging a few nozzles the pocket of my jeans reaches out and grabs the latch for the door, I hear a RRRRRIIIIPPPPPPP and feel cold seat on my bare bum, I have just ripped my pants completely open.
So I spray out the tank bare bummed. I look around as I drive into the home place…no one is there to see me limping into my house, holding my pants closed in the rear laughing hysterically at what I must look like, while the rain starts to come out of the sky, 45 minutes early. In the end I learned a good lesson…even if you only have a small perfect window, slow down so you don’t kill yourself in the process of getting things done! And no matter how “perfect” the window, the rain still comes when it wants!!! Gotta Go Joe, with a new pair of pants and ice on her ankle is ready for another “perfect” spraying day! And as my grandpa would say, “It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re flying with turkeys!”