Helping With The Harvest

I’ve written before about stepping outside of my comfort zone and also about taking a day off from work to work.  This week I did both.  I took a day off to help my Father-in-law harvest corn.  He ran the combine and I hauled the corn into the co-op.

John Deere Combine

I’ve helped several times before and always enjoyed the experience. This year he had a new to him grain truck.  It’s the same age as me… but I’ll admit I’ve got more miles on me than the truck!

Ford Truck Odometer

With the truck came the task of remembering how to drive a stick shift.  It’s been probably 15 years since I had driven one.  The good thing is it’s like riding a bike.  Once you know how you know how.

Ford Grain Truck Dash Board

The one thing that I wasn’t exactly the most comfortable with was raising and lowering the bed to dump the corn.  I had all the instructions but it just wasn’t something that I was used to doing.

Loading the Grain Truck

When the time came to haul the first load my Father-in-law asked if I wanted him to ride along.  The truthful answer would have been “yes” but I told him “no”.  We had already gotten a late start because of a minor combine repair that needed to be done and I didn’t want to put us any farther behind.


The ride into town in the truck was fun.  There’s something about driving a big truck that just makes you feel manly.  I got to the coop and waited my turn to get weighed.  That went well.  Then it was time to head to the elevator to dump the corn.

This was the part that had me nervous.  I pulled in.  The elevator attendant opened the gate to start unloading the corn.  Next came the moment of truth.  Time to raise the bed.

I’m not exactly sure why but the truck stalled when I went to raise it. I tried to start it and the truck rolled forward just a bit.  Now in my mind I was really starting to freak out.  The worker came to check on me.

“I’m sorry, sir.  This is the first time I’ve run this truck and I’m not sure what I did wrong,” is what I think I said but I’m sure he could’ve told all that by the look on my face.

Without skipping a beat he told me not to worry about it and coached me through it.  Looking back now it probably didn’t take more than a minute or two but in my mind I was imagining frustrated farmers stacked up behind me ready to unload their corn.

That first trip and the help and grace that the elevator worker showed to me is something I thought about the rest of the day.  It’s a reminder to me that when it’s my time to teach or help that I should do so with the same kind approach.

Every load after that went off without any trouble at all and with each one the worker gave me an encouraging “thumbs up”.  On one of the last runs of the day he came back and said what a good job I had done.

Filling the grain truck

Helping with the harvest really is one of the highlights of the year for me.  I usually try and save a vacation day or two just so I can do it.   I enjoy the challenge of doing something different… and I know my Father-in-law really appreciates the help.

Combine and truck

We were able to get the last of the corn picked right at quitting time. There really is something satisfying at looking at an empty field that was full at the beginning of the day.

When is the last time you did something out of your comfort zone that turned out to be a good time?  What was it?

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