Corn Harvest Reaps Memories of Dad

Reader Contribution by Lou Ann Thomas
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I love fall. I love the chill in the mornings that require me to pull on a sweatshirt for my morning walk and chores. And I love the way the sun warms my shoulders and the day as I work outside so that soon I am peeling down to shirtsleeves. I love the swirl of leaves in the wind and the crunch of them under my feet as they gather in the yard.

But nothing warms my heart more, or brings back more memories, than witnessing another bountiful fall corn harvest in full swing. Seeing the combines kicking up dust from the corn and soybean fields makes me feel safe and optimistic. If you’re looking for some kind of indication that a prosperous and abundant Universe surrounds us, this is the time of year to find that.

Maybe it’s because having grown up on this farm I know how satisfying a good harvest is for our hard-working farmers and their families. And maybe that’s why watching those farmers in their combines and trucks this time of year makes me miss my father more than I usually do.

Dad has been gone for nearly 12 years now, but rarely does a day go by that I don’t think of him.

There are so many times I wish I could talk to him about things that are happening in my life or things we both enjoyed. Dad and I shared many things, but a love of sports and for the land, especially this farm, were among our strongest bonds.

In addition to farming, Dad taught school for many years and would teach all day, then get home and change into his blue jeans and old work shirt, pull on his old, worn, held-together-with-field-goo boots and crawl onto our old Farmall tractor to work the fields until dark. Even after he retired from farming he followed the markets, knew what kind of yields the crops were getting in the area and kept close tabs on the young guys who were farming our land.

Dad was proud of being a farmer. I’m ashamed to now admit that when I was a teenager there were times when I wasn’t so proud to be this farmer’s daughter. Usually those were the times when Dad insisted on wearing his white athletic socks with his Sunday suit and black dress shoes. Come to think of it, Dad may have only done that to bug me, but at the time I was humiliated by what I considered to be his total lack of fashion sense and cool. Now, I’d give anything to have my farmer father with me, and I wouldn’t give a hoot what kind of socks he wore or even if he wore any at all.

So if our paths cross and you find me appearing a tad forlorn as I watch a combine creep dustily through a field or a truck full of grain groaning its way out of a field, don’t be concerned – it’s just me and Dad talking about how harvest is going.

Photo: iStockphoto/CarbonBrain

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