My husband whisked me away for a spring getaway last week. A leisurely, romantic drive, then a hotel.
I know. Hard to believe. A grain farmer? Away from the farm, overnight? In the middle of spring seeding? Especially this year, with such cold weather and a late start. And Brad only had 230 acres in the ground.
It happened more like this. “I have to drive all the way to &$*# Melfort to pick up the parts! Four hours each way! Do you know how much canola I could get in the ground in four hours?”
I volunteered to make the trip on my own, so he could do something else. But since I’ve built a bit of a reputation lately for bringing home the wrong parts, it probably wasn’t the best solution.
A few hours earlier, Brad had answered his cellphone from the tractor cab. When the caller asked what he was up to, he’d said, “I’m watching the wheel fall right off the air seeder.” Literally. The bolts gave out.
After we moved the truck and auger out to the field so he could unload the cart, and then moved everything back to the yard, Brad realized he needed a new rim. The nearest one was at the Bourgault factory, four hours away. And the parts department wouldn’t open until the next morning. It would be well after noon before he could start rebuilding, let alone get back in the field.
We left our six-year-old with Grandma, packed a bag and headed north. “Damned bolts. Every other farmer in the country is out in the field.”
This breakdown set seeding back at least two days. Not only did we need the parts, we needed to find someone from a tire shop to make a house call to the farm in the middle of the May long weekend.
About 3-1/2 hours north, we saw a sign for Melfort. ‘City of Northern Lights,’ it said. “Yeah. Right.”
But a few minutes later we looked up, and sure enough. Lights. Not the most spectacular northern lights we’ve seen, but definitely the best show we’ve had time to enjoy for a while. “They’re really shaking around up there,” Brad said. Then he stopped the truck, and we got out and stood together, watching from the side of the road. The lights were so beautiful.
Finally, Brad said, “Look, I don’t know why you got out of the truck, but I only stopped to pee. Didn’t want to waste time finding a gas station.”
This is part of the Editor's Colunn in the June 3rd issue of Grainews. http://www.agcanada.com/grainews/2013/05/28/editors-column-june-3-2013/