Friday, August 17, 2012

Hay Bales and Harvest

In the Field: I promised you some pics from wheat harvest...just now getting around to looking at the pictures on my camera.  It's amazing what you'll find on there! 

Combining in the field behind our house.

Combining and the truck waiting to be filled (this is the truck I learned how to drive this year!)

Eating supper in the field.  This is the only time Baby Girl got to see My Love (the one with the plate on this lap) each day of harvest.

This was an exciting harvest for me.  I learned how to drive the truck (aka 18-wheeler for the non-farming folk) at wheat harvest.  I have to say, I really enjoyed it!  I only drove in the field since I'm not licensed, but it was still fun.  I didn't kill it once!  I'm so proud!  It's very similar to driving a standard, only with an extra set of gears.  Now, I'm no expert - you won't be seeing me on Ice Road Truckers!  I also got to drive it to help load hay.  My Love was driving the tractor and I drove the truck pulling the hay trailer.  It was killer on my thighs - that clutch is a bear!!!

And yesterday was another learning experience for me - I learned how to drive the tractor!  I have no idea which one it was except that it was green and it had air-conditioning!  It was a bit cramped as it had no "buddy seat" (passenger seat beside the driver).  My Love decided it was time for me to learn how to move hay.  He loaded me and Baby Girl up and we were off.  He drove for the first bit, showing me how everything worked.  (Side Note:  Baby Girl LOVES to ride in the tractor - she just chills out on Daddy's lap and watches the world go by).  After a while, I took over the reins. 

Now, tractor driving is much more difficult than driving an 18-wheeler.  There's no gas pedal, only an accelerator that you use by hand - meaning you can't just let off the gas to slow down - that was a difficult one to learn!  And there are 2 brake pedals - to stop, you mash them both.  Add onto all this, there is an A, B, C, D gear and in each gear are 1-4 gears - I was mainly in C-2 and R-1 (reverse).  Then there are all the hydraulics - forward and back, up and down, 3 different hydraulics.  It was mind-boggling.  And not much fun to learn with My Love and Baby Girl and I all crammed into a tractor cab. 

But I prevailed!  I even learned how to hitch and unhitch the gooseneck trailer (so much easier than a truck - no need to get out!).  My Love with with me as I loaded up each hay bale onto the trailer (I even double-deckered them!).  After I drove up to the house to unload the bales, he and Baby Girl climbed down and watched.  I ALMOST dumped one off the far side of the trailer, but I rescued it!  Here's a pic of my pretty row (mine is the last row on the left - and some of the bales at the front of the other rows).  I think I did pretty good!

Now, when I first got married several of the farm wives in our church cautioned me to never learn how to drive the tractor. They said once you learn, they'll have you doing it all the time!  One lady even told me that her first time to drive a tractor she drove it through the fence so she never had to drive it again!  LOL! 

I guess I'm just different.  Before My Love and I got married, my dream was to live on my family's ranch in the Texas Hill Country.  I wanted to raise cows and build a home out in the middle of nowhere.  Although I miss easy-access to great food and shopping, I don't miss the city at all.  I am living my dream life.  Except that I get a little stir-crazy every now and then.  I love being a homemaker, but sometimes Momma just wants to get out of the house!  I crave connection to the land.  I need the sunshine and the sweat.  I need to work with my hands and see what I've accomplished.  Farming isn't just my husband's job - it's OUR DREAM.  Not just his life - OUR life.  The life I want our daughter to love.  I want her to see us working together to make this dream a reality.  And if that means I "have to" drive a tractor and an 18-wheeler - bring it on!

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