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Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Harvest Widow

Last night I sat down after making 7 brown bag dinners, drank some wine and prayed that he would come home safe.  And I was thinking about all the other women who are in the fields or at home waiting on their farmers too--
The Harvest Widows.

I'm also thinking of my mom, the farm widow.

Harvest is the most difficult time for many of us on the farm.
I wrote this article in Farm Indiana in honor of them and said many prayers this fall for them, 
The Harvest Widows.


My favorite season is fall with the crisp air, crackle of a campfire and crunch of the leaves beneath my feet.  Every year the trees surprise me with their bright, vibrant colors and they remind me to enjoy the moment and breathe that fresh, crisp air while it lasts.

October is the month when fall becomes real, when the favorite fall things become part of our daily lives.  For some of us, the anxiety, rush of emotions and longing to see our significant other are more prevalent and real during this fall month more than other times of the year.  The some of us would be 
The Harvest Widows.

As you read this, there are probably farm wives out there preparing themselves for a long day, night or week ahead without seeing their farmer husbands very much.  There are some of us that make what seems like endless meals to take to the field.  Some of us haul our farmers from one field to the next and others help in the fields right alongside their husbands.  We always make sure there is enough coffee or energy drinks around this time of year and plenty of wine for ourselves.  Our endless loads of laundry and washers fullof farm treasures don’t deter us from supporting our farmers.  And we won’t truly sleep until we know they are home safe, sleeping beside us while we watch them lying awake with our anxiety about what the next day may bring. 

I take pride in my role as a Harvest Widow because I married a man who is working the land to produce food for others and to sustain a family farm for generations to come.  Working the land is a privilege not many of us have and the farmer takes care of it for his family and yours. 

While I talk about being a Harvest Widow to try and explain to people what real life entails being married to a farmer during the fall months, I forget that my mother is a widow who actually lost her farmer during harvest. 

 The air was crisp that night and I was on my way to a campfire when the call came about my dad.  I don’t remember the leaves beneath my feet cracking as I raced across the barn lot and yards that night, but I know they were there.  For some reason, the leaves every fall since that day have been more beautiful and colorful than the last, probably a sign from my dad to slow down and take a moment to enjoy them. 

Each year when fall harvest approaches, I say a pray for all of the farmers and their safety.  I even say a prayer for those that don’t work in agriculture but drive alongside tractors and combines on the road because it can be dangerous so please, be careful out there.  But my thoughts and prayers always include the harvest widows, the women that support and care for the farmers, and the women who have lost their farmers.  I’ll be thinking about them a lot this month as I sit outside drinking my wine listening to the combine’s hum in the distance and taking a moment to watch the leaves turn colors.   

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