Hubby and I took the kids back West the end of June so Hubby could help my dad and family w/ wheat harvest. This took about a week, we were there for 5 of those days.
My family has farmed for the last 3 generations. As you can tell from my list, I didn't care for the farm life.
1) Unpredictable schedules - growing up I didn't see my dad much during harvest. He left early in the morning and got home late at night. I'd see him when we took supper to the field.
2) Poor pay - you never know the price of your wheat until you get to the coop to unload. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. This makes for unhappy workers.
3) The field was dirty - when I was younger it was too hot to wear jeans in the field, but the cut wheat stalks would scratch my legs and my feet would get dirty if I wore sandals.
4) Helping move equipment - when I was old enough to drive, my dad would call and ask me to help he and my brother move to another field. This meant I had to leave the nice air conditioned house and drive 20 minutes on a dirt road trying to find a field I didn't know how to get there (even though I'd been there w/ my mom before). I would then follow my dad, who was driving the combine, w/ his pickkup which was beyond dirty and there was no way to adjust the seat so I had to keep myself propped up by holding on the steering wheel.
5) I had to eat last and help load/clean up - this was probably my least favorite, as I said above it was hot in the field, dirty and itchy. We would take supper late around 7:30 or 8 so I was overly hungry. Sometimes we would have to sit there for awhile before the men came to a stopping point and I wasn't allowed to eat early. It was for the men.
6) Unreliable equipment - things would break down and they would need someone to pick up parts sometimes being an hour away.
When we were home for a week, I helped my mom take supper to the field (my sister-in-law cooked too), my kids rode in the combine, and I listened to my 8 year old niece complain about having to help.
I heard her complain about having to put ice in cups and take drink orders, about having to be out in the heat and how itchy her feet were getting.
I passed on my wisdom telling her she was going to go through this every summer, I did and I hated it too.
Every night we were in the field, most of my family was there. My grandpa who owns some of the land we farm and is retired, my aunt, my kids and myself, my sister-in-law and her 4 kids. We sat around a folding table eating and talking.
After years of hating the field, I loved seeing the excitement in my kid's faces when they saw their daddy and the combine, I loved the laughs and conversation we shared, even after the men went back to the field.
I finally understood why going to the field was so important.