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Crops, farm wife both mature

By Staff | Oct 2, 2015

I read a post last fall on social media. It said, “My favorite color is October.”

A change of seasons is always refreshing, especially when lush green bursts into all the warm colors that autumn produces. I noticed upon late summer this year that the soybean fields were beginning to look as dry as my skin does, and that the leaves were beginning to change color-much like my own hair has done over the last few years.

The soybeans and I have both been maturing, and there are others who have noticed.

Last week I was at the cash register of a clothing store, when the clerk asked me, “You’re not over 55 are you?”

“No,” I said, sure that Alan Ludden was hiding somewhere in the store. “I’m a few months from it. Why?”

“Well,” she said as she took a minute to decide. “We have a senior citizen discount here each Wednesday. You might as well have it.”

I was glad to have the extra discount, but was traumatized that someone would deem my face worthy of such a discount. Apparently, I need to either find a new wrinkle cream or pony up the cash for a facelift. (Lord knows what else needs to be lifted.)

I would have drowned my sorrows in a chocolate malt if I hadn’t been afraid they had a senior citizen discount that day at the ice cream shop, too. That would’ve put me over the edge.

On the farm, life changes happen every year. Farm babies are born and others die. Planters come out each spring. Crops go from green and growing to yellowish-orange and slowing down, to brown and dried up. Combines emerge, crops are swallowed up and then heaved out the unloading auger.

For the farm family, fall takes on a whole new meaning. I see social media posts about the fabulous colors of fall, the sweatshirts people love wearing, burning leaves, the chill in the air, Friday night football games, and all the wonderful ways people celebrate that season.

Farm families know fall means all of those great things, too, but it’s also the season where all hands are needed on deck. Every day. No exceptions.

There is equipment to keep running as farmers harvest fields of gold and make financial decisions for the year based on what the yield monitor says. People are needed to haul grain, keep bins or corn dryers running and bale the corn stover until the snow flies.

There are livestock chores to do at home while people are in the field, and meals on wheels to be delivered to farmers who have already worked a 12 or 13-hour day by 6 or 7 p.m.

For farm families, fall tells the story of decisions made all growing season long.

For young children, fall is a season of great excitement as they see those combines do their thing. A 90-mile trip to my parents’ farm one October prompted a new game for our (then) very young children.

Everyone was supposed to count the combines in the fields on their sides of the car. Those on whichever side of the car who had counted more combines in their fields by the time we got there, won the game.

I was a genius. They stayed occupied the whole time.

But that was back in my green and growing days of living and parenting.

These days I’m somewhere between the stages of yellowish-orange, slowing down and brown and dried up.

Good thing I’m a farm wife and not a dairy cow. That’s all I have to say about that.

Schwaller is a Farm News correspondent from Milford. Reach her by e-mail at kschwaller@evertek.net and at www.karenschwaller.com.

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Crops, farm wife both mature

By Staff | Oct 2, 2015

I read a post last fall on social media. It said, “My favorite color is October.”

A change of seasons is always refreshing, especially when lush green bursts into all the warm colors that autumn produces. I noticed upon late summer this year that the soybean fields were beginning to look as dry as my skin does, and that the leaves were beginning to change color-much like my own hair has done over the last few years.

The soybeans and I have both been maturing, and there are others who have noticed.

Last week I was at the cash register of a clothing store, when the clerk asked me, “You’re not over 55 are you?”

“No,” I said, sure that Alan Ludden was hiding somewhere in the store. “I’m a few months from it. Why?”

“Well,” she said as she took a minute to decide. “We have a senior citizen discount here each Wednesday. You might as well have it.”

I was glad to have the extra discount, but was traumatized that someone would deem my face worthy of such a discount. Apparently, I need to either find a new wrinkle cream or pony up the cash for a facelift. (Lord knows what else needs to be lifted.)

I would have drowned my sorrows in a chocolate malt if I hadn’t been afraid they had a senior citizen discount that day at the ice cream shop, too. That would’ve put me over the edge.

On the farm, life changes happen every year. Farm babies are born and others die. Planters come out each spring. Crops go from green and growing to yellowish-orange and slowing down, to brown and dried up. Combines emerge, crops are swallowed up and then heaved out the unloading auger.

For the farm family, fall takes on a whole new meaning. I see social media posts about the fabulous colors of fall, the sweatshirts people love wearing, burning leaves, the chill in the air, Friday night football games, and all the wonderful ways people celebrate that season.

Farm families know fall means all of those great things, too, but it’s also the season where all hands are needed on deck. Every day. No exceptions.

There is equipment to keep running as farmers harvest fields of gold and make financial decisions for the year based on what the yield monitor says. People are needed to haul grain, keep bins or corn dryers running and bale the corn stover until the snow flies.

There are livestock chores to do at home while people are in the field, and meals on wheels to be delivered to farmers who have already worked a 12 or 13-hour day by 6 or 7 p.m.

For farm families, fall tells the story of decisions made all growing season long.

For young children, fall is a season of great excitement as they see those combines do their thing. A 90-mile trip to my parents’ farm one October prompted a new game for our (then) very young children.

Everyone was supposed to count the combines in the fields on their sides of the car. Those on whichever side of the car who had counted more combines in their fields by the time we got there, won the game.

I was a genius. They stayed occupied the whole time.

But that was back in my green and growing days of living and parenting.

These days I’m somewhere between the stages of yellowish-orange, slowing down and brown and dried up.

Good thing I’m a farm wife and not a dairy cow. That’s all I have to say about that.

Schwaller is a Farm News correspondent from Milford. Reach her by e-mail at kschwaller@evertek.net and at www.karenschwaller.com.

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