In what has become a Thanksgiving tradition, I found myself in the thick of the harvest action this weekend. Whether it’s climate change or a blessing from above, unseasonably high temperatures, dry and sunny weather graced Southern Ontario again this Thanksgiving. Perfect weather to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner on the deck also meant perfect weather for combining. There wasn’t a combine sitting still Saturday. My brother counted a dozen on the five-mile trip to the elevator. I even found myself behind the wheel of the combine, and later the grain cart, when there weren’t enough bodies to be found to keep the combine, grain truck, seed-drill, and sprayer going.
Fall harvest is my favourite time of year. Golden-brown fields, set against a perfect canvass of red and yellow leaves and a clear, blue sky make every corner look like a page from a magazine. Beyond a doubt, it’s stressful. Equipment tends to break and sometimes people tend to not hear all the instructions, but everyone seems to have an air of more optimism about them. The crop is coming off. Grain is going to the elevator. A years worth of work is coming to fruition.
|My niece co-pilots in the combine. Luckily, that paper isn’t important anymore.|
Despite our best attempts to work straight through the weekend and my mother’s stern warning about working on Sunday, He made sure we took a break. The combine broke down long enough Sunday to ensure everyone made it to church, we witnessed the baptism of my cousin’s beautiful twin boys, enjoyed an afternoon with family before settling down to relax together at night after milking. By noon today, everyone was back in the field running like clockwork. I set off to catch up with friends, before heading back to the city and another week of travel. It will be at least ten months before I see the harvest fields again, but for now and the coming weeks, it will be engrained in my memory until I make it back to the farm.