It goes without saying but it has been a pretty busy summer. I’ll read things about stay at home moms wanting to “break up the day” or “survive til five.” Nope, not here. I want the day to be long enough for once to get my to do list done. And as for the five thing, a lot of nights, Blake gets home around 10:30-11:00 so that would be pretty dangerous if I checked out six hours prior.
It’s a season, a good season, but with meal making, diaper changing, car loading, dish washing, nap finagling, toddler negotiating, swim supervising, baby swooning, (kid) book reading, laundry folding, and if I feel like being honest, Instagram lurking as well as Olympic watching, midnight comes quickly. Every. Single. Night.
So let’s catch up, finally. I think we were in Tribune last I checked in. Things went fairly well there. Blake noticed another rim cracking on the combine so welded that one morning and slowly made turns in the field to try to keep it from cracking any further. Goodyear decided their rims were not strong enough so began fabricated new rims (the tires and rims were a new line when we put these on when we bought the combines last year. Blake cracked a rim last fall harvest, Bruce cracked one in Manter, and then the one in Tribune was number three).
While in Tribune and truly on my own with the three short people, I started feeling a little more confident in my ability to take a baby, a toddler, and a preschooler places. We did a few grocery runs, went to the pool twice, and partied at the park a couple times.
The first night at the pool, a girl around my age showed up with her son and her mom. And then a friend came. And then grandpa stopped by. She said she liked her one kid to four adult ratio much better than my one adult to three kid ratio. Haha. But they were the nicest and the grandma wanted Cal so I was able to just play with the girls. The day we left, Blake had to load the combines and do some organizing out at the field. I had to pay bills around town, get the camper in moving mode, and pick up lunch. After paying bills, I asked Briar if she would want to stay in the (obviousy running) car with the other kids and I would get the camper ready, and then we would go to the park. I was able to get the camper ready in around 10 minutes compared to hours and then we went to the park to wait for Blake’s call saying they were on their way in. When we got to the park, there were all these cars and kids there. In Tribune, they have a group of moms and kids that meet every other Wednesday called Learn and Play. They were super inviting and the kids had a lot of fun.
Meanwhile, Bruce and Leigh had buzzed past Tribune and had to get cutting in Chappell. The wheat looked phenomenal but must have had some disease as it had 80+ bushel straw and only 30 bushel yields. How disappointing for our farmers! The crop looked great, the price dropped, and then the yield wasn’t what you thought it would be and it is just a bummer. When we left Tribune, we made a pit stop in Chappell. Blake changed out his cracked rim and the girls got to spend some time with their grandma. The next morning, we made our way to Chadron.
We were going to skip Chadron and have friends cut it for us. The weather in Circle had dramatically cooled and our friends were having a hard time getting there. So Blake and I arrived Thursday, set up our camper and the bunk house, and off they went with two combines and two trucks to cut west of town and our friends cut east of town. Friday, my mom and sisters came for a visit and stayed the weekend. Blake finished up Saturday and the boys headed to Chappell to help move up the things from down there. Blake blew off equipment and loaded a combine and then that night, he was able to go out to eat with the rest of us.
Sunday morning, my family left with more baggage than they arrived with. Briar and Adeline headed back with them to spend some time in South Dakota. A couple hours after they took off, Bruce, Leigh, and the crew showed up ready to move everything to Belle. The guys parked the loaded trucks up there and we got the campers set up in Sturgis for the next few days. While the guys were busy shuffling equipment between Chappell and Belle and Circle, Leigh and I did supply restocking for the time we had left in Montana and before we knew it, we were making the final move up to Circle on Wednesday, July 20.
I took Cal pal to the clinic in Glendive on July 22 for his two month well child checkup and shots. Per usual, he did great. Then that next Monday, Cal and I headed to Bismarck to meet my parents to pick up the other two. I have about the world’s best travelers and about 15 minutes out from Circle, Cal started throwing a fit but we persevered and made the trip without stopping.
As soon as we got up to Circle, we were able to cut out the 900 acres of winter wheat right away and then started working on peas. From there, some red lentils, spring wheat, green lentils, durum, chick peas, and back to some spring wheat. Blake is impressed with cutting seven different crops in one location. They have really diversified their crops these past few years up here, even significantly since I’ve been coming. We used to do a few lentils and peas and we will see how the numbers work out but just doing some quick estimates in my head, I think it will be about 50/50 at our Montana stop this year for percentages of cutting wheat versus non wheat crops.
It was a rush to get up here for the winter wheat but when we got here, a lot of the spring wheat was still grass green. Fortunately, we haven’t had hardly any days of sitting with all the different crops we have cut. It seems like we have been able to whittle away at some extra jobs and have been able to keep relatively busy. We haven’t had many huge days with moving from area to area but still feel so fortunate that we haven’t been just sitting waiting for spring wheat to ripen. It would have made for a long month.
About three weeks ago, I asked Blake for an estimate of time left. He told me three weeks. A week went by and again, I asked how much time we had left. And again, he told me three weeks. This happens every year. But, as of a week ago, we are down to two weeks. And I think that’s what we would tell me again if I asked (but will not in attempt to be not the most annoying person in the camper – and I have some tough competition this year).
I always start getting a little anxious to finish up but driving in the other day, I decided it doesn’t really matter how long we are here. I literally have everything, and everyone, I need with me. Of course, I’m excited to see some of my other people like my parents, our six nieces and nephews and their parents, and our friends. I’m also excited for my bed, my closet (as lacking as it may be), my countertops, my walk in shower, and my washer and dryer. I don’t need those things but having been away from them for twelve weeks now, I know I will be appreciative to have them back.
So now, we will wait. Depending on how quickly things finish ripening, and how quickly we can cut it, that will determine when we get home. It’s getting closer and another summer on the road will be in the books.
Maybe I’ll check in again soon and maybe I’ll see you again next harvest. It’s a real cliffhanger. 😉 Take care!