When I mentioned in my “Happy birthday to my Farmer” post that Matt works at the beck and call of the weather, I wasn’t kidding! It’s been doozy of a wet season here in Oregon. We have been waiting, and waiting…and waiting for enough good days in a row to get crops planted, which means that our Easter plans turned a bit from the traditional.
Matt was up early to head out to the radish field. We had to get preplant fertilizer spread, pre-emergent sprayed, work the ground another time, then finally it looked like we might get the window to get the radish seed in the ground. Meanwhile I woke up early with the boys, threw Easter grass from the Easter Bunny all over the house, and headed to church with a few cousins. We decided that someone better pray that we got this radish field planted ( and ask for forgiveness for working on Easter Sunday!!) The boys and I delivered lunch to the farm (because if you have people working on Sunday, you better keep them fed!), headed home for naps and then back out in the field (where the boys want to be all the time anyway!). Hoot proved that farming can be done without pants without any problems (good to know!). And Auggie almost kept his Easter clothes clean before we made it back to my parents for Easter dinner.
Things all went pretty smoothly, even for a Sunday. The weather cooperated and right around dinner time the guys came in from the field, tired and hungry, we had a big dinner all ready for them. I don’t know if they have ever earned their Easter dinner so much as this year.
This is exactly why farming can be so stressful, so risky, and such a seven day a week job. We work when we can, because those days in some years so limited. And I’m so grateful that I work with folks who understand when I come up to them and timidly ask if they could work on Easter Sunday, they look at you and don’t even hesitate to say yes, because they know I wouldn’t even ask if it weren’t a necessity. They showed up, they worked hard, and we got at least one of our spring crops planted for 2017!!! I know we weren’t the only farmers who worked all Easter to get crops in the ground, and I know that we will talk about the Easter that we planted radish, for a long time to come!
Old Grey has been on our farm for 22 years. 22 fertilizer seasons of running around loaded down from field to field. 22 summers of hauling grass seed, clover, wheat, even filberts on long hot days. 22 years of wear, tear, washing and waxing before each season.
I realize it might seem silly to have an attachment to just a piece of equipment on our farm, but silly or not, I was sad to see her go. Maybe it’s because I always think back when I was a kid and that steering wheel seemed so big! I can perfectly imagine it’s what Hoot is thinking right as I took the photo below! Or maybe it’s the memories later, sitting in the driver’s seat of Old Grey, learning how to drive a semi, while dad sat in the passenger side and told me to “Take it easy on her!” and inevitably cringing while I grinded every gear heading down the road. Old Grey is the truck that didn’t have the get up and go of her new counterparts at our farm, but I’ll be dammed if she didn’t always get you where you wanted to go….eventually.We bought a new truck that is currently being put together, painted up all pretty and shiny. She’s newer than Old Grey by a long shot, has more horsepower, and will be a great addition to our farm. When we bought her and made the decision to sell Old Grey, it was the end of an era. This is the first large purchase that Matt and I have made since buying the farm from my parents. In a way Old Grey represents the past generation on our farm and the transition to the next.
So while Hoot was farming with me on Friday, we went to say our goodbyes. I gave our boy, generation number 4 a chance to stand on the seat and pull the horn one last time, just like I did growing up.
Obviously Hoot didn’t quite feel as sentimental as me, he was just excited to go see the combines haha! But regardless I said my thank yous for being such a great part of our farm, and for always getting us where we needed to be….eventually.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how my “business attire” wardrobe may not be as extensive as my non-farmer friends. Considering as farmers, Shelly Davis and I both wore the same EXACT outfits as the last time we dressed up together…oops! But the I have to say I really enjoyed everything from the prep for this talk to the actual end result of our keynote for the Dunn Carney Ag Summit entitled, “Our Ag Story, What’s Yours?”.
Shelly shared our transcript on her blog last week, so if you’re interested please click here, or head over to Daughter of a Trucker’s blog to see what we said.
If you’re more of a video type, I have uploaded from Facebook live onto YouTube our keynote. It’s not great audio, and it is in two parts because the WiFi was being funky. So if you are patient and you have a low tolerance for video quality, the message is still (in my humble opinion) top notch and spot on!
I’ll leave you with this last thought from Shelly,
“The point is advocating on behalf of the entire agriculture industry can be exhausting and take up too much time. You do it, I do it, we do it because it benefits us, our farm, and more importantly our future farm.”