Autumn is my favorite time of year. Back in blue jeans, warm, not hot, days, low humidity. In Illinois we know about humidity. I’m not a fan of what comes after autumn and the ’s’ word is a four letter word, but man, do I love the fall.
Pumpkins, apples, leaves turning red, maroon, yellow and orange. High School football. Going to the corn maze, apple orchard and pumpkin patch. Bright cloudless days, warm and pleasant. These are images most people think of when they think of autumn. For us it also means harvest, literally.
We farm. Corn and soybeans. My husband, his brother, our son, and his son. They start the harvest of corn the day after Labor Day most years. This brings a totally different aspect to autumn.
Harvest means days when your husband leave with the sunrise and returns with the sunset. Running to town for parts. Having a grumpy man around if it’s raining or there’s a major breakdown or bushels of grain spilled on the ground because the bin overflowed. Having a happy man if everything is working properly and the yield is good.
It means being a temporary single parent, handling the minor, and not so minor, crises by yourself. Making an appointment with father if the issue is large enough.
It also means the kids riding with dad in the combine. Learning to drive a tractor, usually about age ten. Learning to shut off the auger before the bin overflows.
Depending on the weather, harvest can last two months or, heaven forbid, into December. That’s when you really have a grumpy man.
Today has been one of the less enjoyable days. It’s 50 degrees, windy, overcast, and just stinking cold. But, it’s autumn, harvest is going well, and it’s a beef stew kind of night. I love autumn.