Wednesday 6th of October 2010 07:34 AM
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
I think in my next farm wife contract, I will negotiate a bonus for miles traveled.
Over-the-road truckers have to log the amount of time they spend behind the wheel and the miles they travel. When we began planting wheat on September 25, I should have started a log book in all the different vehicles I've driven.
I realize a true trucker wouldn't be terribly impressed with the number of miles I've traveled. But I've definitely spent a good portion of the day in one vehicle or another or waiting to be available to my farmer's every beck and call.
And that's OK. It's all part of the unwritten job description.
There are definitely perks. On one early morning trip to the co-op, the sun rose and cast its golden hue over the day.
I had two jobs that morning. I was supposed to fill the fuel barrel in the back of the pickup with diesel.
On the same trip, I was to get a new load of fertilizer for wheat planting.
After I got the fuel, I pulled the pickup and fertilizer trailer onto the scale at the co-op office where they get an "empty" weight ... the pickup and the tank (not me, thank goodness!)
Then I pulled around into a building where they blend nitrogen- and phosphorus-based fertilizers to make the blend we're using as we plant wheat.
After the fertilizer tank is full, I pulled back onto the scales to get weighed. That's how the co-op knows how much to charge your account. (I like to avoid the co-op bill this time of year. It's way more frightening than Halloween spooks when we use about 10,000 gallons of the stuff during the fall planting season!)
On that particular morning, I took the diesel back to the field, where Randy filled up the tractor he was using to drill wheat.
I then went back to Zenith and filled the 100-gallon fuel barrel again (I make an effort to avoid looking at the price total as the fuel counter spins 'round and 'round. That's why I brought my book to read while it filled.)
I took that load of diesel back to the field, where Jake used it to fill the tractor pulling the disk.
About that time, I was singing Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" to myself. And that was just one morning. I've had plenty of other outings to get diesel and fertilizer at the co-op.
I've been on the road to help ferry personnel and vehicles to the next field to be worked and planted. (Just last night, I tallied another four back and forth trips helping to get vehicles to the next planting destination.)
I've been on the road to deliver noon meals to both Randy and Jake and then evening meals to Randy.
I've been on the road to Miller Seed Farms, where they know me on a first-name basis.
The upside of visiting them? I can choose a "free" pen.
Or I can grab a "free" piece of candy ...
... while they load the pickup with more bags of seed wheat.
I've also driven on errands to pick up Randy when he's delivered wheat to be cleaned at both Miller Seed Farms and at Greenbush Seed in Stafford. And then I've taken him to retrieve the wheat trucks after the wheat has been cleaned and is ready for planting.
Somehow I missed the the trip to Keesling Seed Farms near Chase this year. Randy made that run himself.
I've been trying to come up with the perfect theme song. "Red Dirt Road" might work in Barber County. My roads are dirt, but they aren't red. John Denver's "Take Me Home Country Roads" might apply. But this isn't West Virginia and I sure don't see any mountains. "Life is a Highway" doesn't work because most of my miles are on dirt roads and I'm not sure 4th Street Road qualifies as a highway.
So ... any suggestions?
Until then, I'll be the one driving the white pickup ... or the red pickup ... or the red car ... or the wheat truck ... or ...
For more information about me and my family, check out my personal blog at www.kimscountyline.blogspot.com