This time of year, I start to ask my husband questions similar to what kids ask on long (or short) trips. Although I’m not technically asking “are we there yet?!”, I’m usually asking a similar question to gauge a different destination: harvest.
You see, this time of year is typically (although nothing is typical when it comes to a farming year) a small window of time for switching gears from summer to fall farm activities. I learned of this small window while planning our wedding several years ago – late August usually has about 1 week when time might be open. So I chose that window for our wedding date, instead of winter, the other window of time. It’s a good thing we didn’t have a crop year then like we have had this year or I would’ve had a very preoccupied groom.
So why the window of time? We farm irrigated land, and usually by this time of year, the irrigation is complete, and there’s a week or 2 before corn is cut for silage and the push to prepare for harvest begins. This year, the crop was late getting planted, and due to unusually cool weather in August (until now) the corn is a little behind. And so I ask… “so when do you think you’ll be done irrigating?” and ”when do you think harvest will start… just a ballpark timeframe?”
So what difference does it make? Probably not a big difference, but I like to know for several reasons… 1. So I can semi-intelligently answer someone who asks me, so that I sound like I know what’s going on. 2. So I can mentally prepare for harvest time (it’s an intense time of year for my husband and when I do my best to allow him to focus solely on the task at hand). 3. So I can know when a good time is to show him the “honey-do” list I’ve been compiling all summer while he’s been irrigating, with hopes that he’ll be able to complete all 85+ items before he goes into harvest mode. 🙂 I do try to narrow that list down to my top 5.
The answers to my questions… in case you’re also wondering… are no – we’re not there yet. Yes, we’re still irrigating for another week or so. (Have you picked up on the lack of precise timeframes and time commitments in farming?!) Yes, harvest will be later than last year (which was an early harvest compared to “normal”) but not real late. We’ll be chopping corn for silage sometime within the next couple of weeks. I translate all of that to this – don’t give him the honey-do list now, and in fact there might not be a good time for it this year. 🙂 Well played smart husband, well played. That’s ok – I don’t think I’d survive a week, let alone a summer doing what he’s doing in 90+ degree humid heat. The list can wait. And just like my parents used to tell us in the car, and that we now tell our kids… “we’ll be there when we get there.”