I took the boys to the farm yesterday.
It's the heart of harvest time -- the soybeans are combined and the push is on to get the corn crop out of the fields. I love this time of year. Even though I am not a farmer, I feel pride every time I'm back and witnessing the amazing feat that is harvest-time in Iowa. Standing in my parents' yard, I spotted six or seven different combines running in nearby fields. The orchestra of the harvesters. Giant machines moving within inches of one another. Huge tractors pulling equally huge wagons, effortlessly piggybacking semi-trucks as they load and unload bushel after bushel of corn. It's a perfect rhythm.
I'd love to watch these 100-ton dancers from overhead. I can imagine the symmetrical lines of the fields. Golden and beautiful in the hazy autumn sun, contrasting brilliantly with the blue sky. I can see the brightly colored red, green, blue and yellow machines methodically moving forward for hours at a time. I think the tractors and grain trucks might look like slow-moving bees, turning around, backing up, moving forward, circling the combines in the never-ending dance.
And inside these machines, generation after generation of men and women who have chosen a lifestyle unlike any other.
I'm glad my boys will have first-hand experience of Iowa farming. I want them to understand, appreciate and support it. I want them to remember riding in Grandpa's combine. Growing drowsy in the warm afternoon sun. Bumping through a field with their heads knocking on the windows until they fall asleep to the hum of those engines and the country music playing on the radio.
Mom and I pulled into the field to pick them up after they'd been riding for a couple hours. Mazy with Grandpa Kevin. Bo with Uncle Troy. We got there during break-time. Both boys, in their dusty jeans and dirt-smudged faces, drinking Cokes and eating M&Ms. Big grins on both their faces. Pockets crammed with shelled corn and broken cobs.
I looked over at Mom and smiled. Yep, this is just how I imagined it would be. I wouldn't trade this life for anything.