Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Wheat Harvest is On

Please don’t get the idea that all we do is sit at the Coffee Cottage and drink coffee…but there we were at 4:30 in the afternoon with the cars racing by going west (south) on 99W. The norm is log trucks and SUVs on their way home from a day’s toil. Then there was a different kind of roar; one that was out of place. Low and behold what came into view in its John Deere green was a combine, then another, and another until six of the big machines droned by followed by a big grain buggy pulled by a JD 4WD tractor. Wow! Did that make my mind churn? Who among you have memories of harvesting grain in the summers of their youth? Boy, I do…and I know from recent conversations that this would spark memories and comments from brothers Dave and Jim.

What struck me was the number of machines traveling together. I know about the wheat harvest in the west, but this is the first time we have been in the middle of the route. I understand how they cut 24/7 when it is time and move in concert from one great field to the next. What surprises me is the Willamette Valley of Oregon is in that harvest.

Without Aleene knowing it, as we sat and sipped our brew, I thought of the hot days in the sun, the heavy bags (before bins and augers) the dust…especially the dust and the cool comfort of a swim in the river at dusk. There are also memories of sitting in line to market the grain at the rail station and much more…whew.

A few random observations:

5400 lightening strikes on the west side of the mountains ignited over 250 fires yesterday alone.

Met a couple yesterday who are originally Mennonites who actually knew where New Wilmington, PA is. They had visited Forest Grove church in earlier years. They were living in Columbiana, OH at the time after finishing their degrees at Ohio State. They are still working so must be younger than I. She was also Amy’s supervisor this year at Fox when she taught in the MAT program. I met them through a mutual friend....Small world.

I re-established contact with my first C. O. from the FDR this week. Admiral Miller is 87 and still emails replies quickly and with a bit of wry wit. I checked in with him to see what he knew about the VADM (Ret) that is running for Congress in the Philadelphia area. In reading the candidate's bio I discovered his father also went to the Naval Academy and was a year behind ADM Miller. It gave me an excuse (if I needed one) to querry Jerry about him. Turns out he did not know either of them, but heck, he gave me his opinion anyways. Miller lives in VA somewhere close to DC, as I recall. I would love to meet him again, but that will never happen. I do have a green light to keep in touch however. He was very helpful while I was writing DTL, if you recall.

Asher is such a cutie. I call him Mr. Baby or Mr. Spicy. His mother uses the word spicy to describe his active behavior. He does it all with a smile and a flair that is all his. He will soon loose the name Mr. Baby as he begins to talk more. Yesterday, after he ran around the corner for a few seconds in silence and reappeared announcing to Aleene, “I pooped.”

We leave Thursday for the Coast for a week. Tru will go with us for the first few days. His folks will come down over the weekend and pick him up.

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