The harvest in four acts

I am writing specifically about the sugar beet harvest today however
it could certainly pertain to any harvest.

Act I Common Courtesy

Everything means more at harvest time. People are cold, short on
sleep and maybe ready to move onto something other than harvest. It
is at these times when the value of common courtesy is so apparent. A
simple thank-you recognizes the hard work people people perform and
also makes it easier to communicate. So much gets lost in translation
when people are half-asleep and a little common courtesy blunts what
might otherwise be misunderstood as a sharp jab. We are all so
focused on performing our tasks quickly that I think if everyone
slows down just enough to think and offer up some common courtesy, it
will make our time more pleasant.

Act II Purgatory

My regular semi needed a little work last week so I drove the
replacement truck. This is a fine, older truck that was made to fit
smaller people who like to be tossed around inside it’s cab. I forget
how spoiled I am with the semi I drive and this quad-axle (four rear
axles-one front axle) was a nice reminder. I drove it for about 1 ½
hours and rang in each quarter hour by banging my elbow on the
armrest in response to unavoidable potholes. Uncle Larry was in the
other semi and also used the replacement truck during repairs on his
regular ride. He named the replacement truck “Purgatory” and I
believe it will stick. I don’t know which sins I paid for during my
time in “Purgatory” but I hope they were really bad ones.

Act III Progress Report

We’re doing fine, we will complete the harvest and you will have
sugar for your coffee. We have never left a sugar beet in the field
that someone was willing to process. It began to rain on Wednesday
and was still raining as of this writing. The rain started slow then
increased its volume to the point I wasn’t completely sure the trucks
would leave the field unassisted. By the grace of my differential
lock and the Tireboss I reached the relative safety of the gravel
road then headed back to “R and R Farms central” for some coffee and
a re-ride of the morning. It’s nice to be almost done with harvest
and standing inside with a warm cup of coffee, petting Sammy the
Labrador and eating vanilla crème cookies.

Act IV We’re so sorry

The farmers, the truckers, the people at the beet dump all have one
thing in common-we’re there to make money. I spoke with one fellow
who was working nights at the beet dump and days at his regular job.
It’s hard on each worker but maybe harder on the people at home. I
know when Lisa comes home she finds me tired, cranky and almost
catatonic. I hope the people at home can comfort themselves with the
two-week loss of spouse or parent that this work is essential and
also helps each household make ends meet. I know that home life
suffers some during the harvest and for that I would like to tell
those tending the home fires that we are sorry and thank-you for
putting up with the zombie you live with during this harvest. It will
soon be over and know that we are being extra-careful.

Epilogue: Thanks for the hat John. The task of keeping my large
melon warm is great, however I feel that knit chapeau is up to the
task.

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