Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Highlights From Home

Today Tim and I waved goodbye to the farm.  It’s hard to believe that seven weeks have passed since we arrived home on September 8th.  

Somehow amid taking meals to the field, trucking grain from the field to the elevator or storage bin and challenging my mother to yet another game of dominoes, the time whizzed by! 

Looking back at our layover at home there were several highlights: 

Attending the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, KS was one of them. 

The racing pigs and the trick dogs were my favorite shows at the fair.  My older brother Doug raised a pig when he was a member of 4-H, a club for youth that's popular in rural areas.  Perhaps that prompted my predilection for the porkers.  And dogs have always been at the top of my most loved pets.  When Jillian and Richard were growing up, a basset hound followed by a black labrador and then a golden retriever were important members of our family.  I miss owning a dog.  Sharing the tight quarters of our RV with a dog, however, would be difficult.  That's why a visit home is such a treat; there are three farm dogs upon which to lavish love.

Traveling to Chicago for the October 1st wedding of Tim’s niece was a treasured family celebration.  Those Jacobsons really know how to party!  I was so caught up in the fun that I neglected to take many photos.  But Tim's cousin Dave took this photo of our immediate family.

Richard, Montana, Jillian, Cindy and Tim
We returned to the farm in time to see my brother Jon take possession of a 4-wheel-drive tractor that was new in 2012, a monster with tires taller than me.   I joined him in the cab for a test drive, a jolting, bumpy ride worthy of inclusion at an amusement park.  Still, the purchase brought a smile to Jon's face, especially when he contemplated how much quicker he'll be able to cover ground versus his old tractor.  As he said, "Time is money!" 

Tailgating at a Kansas State University football game was the icing on the cake.  We arrived early enough on Friday to walk the campus and marvel at all the changes that have transformed the school since I graduated 40 years ago.  That night my cousin, Julia Anderson, and her husband Matt joined us for dinner.  They were anticipating the birth of their second grandchild, Ivy Mae, born Monday evening.  Early Saturday morning I met Sheila, Lou Ann and Terri, friends from my four years of living at Smurthwaite Scholarship House, for brunch and caught up on recent events of their lives.  That afternoon was a perfect day to watch K-State beat Texas.  Then, after the game friends and family joined us for a tailgate supper.  Sunday we went to church with Jon's old roommate and took Jon's sons, both current K-State students, out to lunch.  Whew!  We packed a lot of fun into a short weekend.

Clockwise from upper left:  Mom & Jon;
Terri & Cindy; Derek & Cindy; Anderson Hall, a KSU icon

All were great times with family and friends. 

Now we’ve pointed our RV, the Dawntreader, east.  We have annual doctor appointments scheduled in Washington, DC.  And the Dawntreader needs its check-up, too.  We'll stop in Vonore, TN for several days for its tune up.  Along the way to Washington, we’ll see Jillian, our daughter, who lives in Nashville and Terry, a former co-worker of Tim’s, along with his wife Debbie.   We’ll also have the opportunity to spend time with our son Richard who lives in DC. 

So, once again the Dawntreader is on the move.  And after laying aside this blog/diary these past several weeks, I've got to become more disciplined about snapping photos and writing about our life on the road.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Farm Report

Fall harvest is in full swing on my family's farm in Kansas.  In fact, it's been so busy I've barely had time to take any photos. But, two friends have shared theirs with me, along with their permission to post them here.

The photo above was taken by Tate, our hired man, while he was driving the grain cart.  I love the way the sun at dusk gleams on the combine driven by my 85-year-old father.  Tate used his camera-equipped drone with its remote control to capture this amazing photo.

Then, on the morning of the equinox, Elizabeth, a friend from Bible study, caught a view of the sun rising between the former antique shop and the bank.  Again, another amazing shot! 


So, what's been keeping me from snapping my own photos?  Three tasks!  Cooking for the harvest crew, caring for my mother who has dementia, and calculating why my entries in the farm's Quick Books do not match the bank's statement.  Ugh!  There's a reason I never became an accountant. 

My brother Jon

Noontime often found the crew tailgating, not at a stadium before a sporting event, but on a country road next to the field they were cutting.

Nephew Miles and my camera-shy Dad

Caught you, Dad!

Schlepping the meal to the field had its perks.  Who wouldn't want to enjoy an alfresco meal under such a gorgeous blue sky? 

Or watch the combine in action

as it dumps a load of corn into the semi.

Then, there's the cute truck driver, my husband Tim.

This fall harvest is yielding not only a bumper crop of corn, but also milo.  In fact, so much grain has been harvested that the local grain cooperative has filled the elevator.  There's no alternative except to dump the excess grain in huge piles on the ground.

Our crew took several loads to town to the Coop, but most of our grain is stored on the farm in grain bins.

This gives Jon the opportunity to sell the grain at what will hopefully be a better price once the market supply dwindles.

What won't dwindle is my appreciation of a Kansas sky.

The expanse of sky unconstrained by any buildings speaks to my soul,

reminding me of God's goodness.  Thank you for a bountiful harvest, Lord!