First Load/ Last Load of Corn

Published 12:16 pm Wednesday, September 18, 2013

August 21, 11:23 A.M.—Man, this feels good! The first load of corn being dumped in the pit. Listen to it. Smell it. At long last, we are harvesting the crop. This is going to be fun! What we’ve been waiting for! Can’t wait to see those first yellow kernels rolling out the back! Exciting!

And then-

Stalk after stalk after after stalk. Row after row after row. Busted bearings. Broken chains. This truck is running hot! The Boone field. “Can’t be home for supper tonight.” What happened to that tractor? A thunderstorm! The Milton Field. Take the head off. Load it up. Move everything over to Andrews Place. What? More rain! And wind! “Let’s skip lunch today.” A flat tire? Are you kidding? Stringfield’s. Lottie Turner’s. Grace Howell’s. Need fuel! Need fuel filters! Two inches of rain! Are you kidding? Stuck! With the grain cart! Stuck! With the combine! Pull out with big tractor. No luck! Try it with the bulldozer. No luck! Call Hardy’s Towing- finally! Copeland place. 10 acre field. Broke down truck! In the road! Replace fuel pump! Stalk after stalk after stalk. Row after row after tow. Tired. Skip lunch. Skip supper. Need fuel. Clean out radiator. Check moisture of corn. Too dry. Wait. Now too wet! Can’t go to that meeting. Let’s work this Sunday. Bearing gone! Grace Howell’s. Mike Holland’s.Kurt Lytle’s. Eley Farm. Home place. Only 100 more acres! On no, stuck again! Back up, try again. Field after field, acre after acre. Seeing corn in our sleep. Corn in our shoes, on our clothes, in our hair. 50 acres left! 30-20-10! The last 8 rows! Done! Done! Hallelujah!

September 13, 5:36 P.M.—The last load of corn from the last row in the last field rolls over the pit and dumps. Finally. It’s over. Done. So tired of seeing that yellow grain. Don’t care if I never see another kernel of corn.