Monday, November 24, 2014

Lunch Dates: Farmer Style

While many people enjoy looking for the next best lunch spot in their city, we do lunch dates a little differently on the farm. Of course, there is no such thing as "typical" on the farm because it is ever changing, but today was a pretty good example of what lunch looks like.

I had to run to Pampa for a couple of errands. Since the guys were harvesting, I offered to pick up lunch for everyone. Turns out, Royce was the only one who hadn't brought his lunch so I just had to find lunch for Royce and me. Easy enough. I stopped at Braum's and ordered two chicken-fried steak sandwiches.

20 minutes later: I arrive at the farm, find the auger running corn into the bin, and am unable to locate my husband. Shortly after my arrival, he appears from somewhere (presumably his pickup). I tell him I'd like to eat lunch with him (over the noise of the auger, tractor, semi and my pickup). He nods then walks off, leaving me to gather the bag of food and two Dr. Peppers. Apparently he couldn't hear my call for help. Typical.

One minute later: With some fumbling and grumbling, I get the food and the Dr. Peppers to his flatbed, also known as the table for super romantic lunch meals. Royce is moving the semi to dump the back part of the trailer. I begin eating my sandwich while being surrounded by the corn bee's wings (floaty chaff that comes off corn). I'm sure those are a healthy addition to my lunch. Halfway through my sandwich, Royce finally joins me for lunch.

Two minutes later: Royce is halfway through his sandwich, I'm still working on mine, and there's a grinding noise followed by silence from the auger. Royce mutters choice words, sets his sandwich back down and runs to shut down the tractor. There's a problem with the PTO shaft running the auger (at least that's what I deduce when he begins taking it apart). You can always count on lunch to break something.

Ten minutes later: Royce finally has the auger running again and gets back to eating his (now cold) sandwich. Since I'm done eating, he asks me to pull the tractor and grain cart around to the truck to start unloading it for the bin. I agree, jump in the tractor to quickly realize I've only driven this tractor once over a year ago.

Three minutes later: I finally remember how to drive this darned tractor (why couldn't we use the ones I'm used to!?) and putter around to the truck. Royce is done with his lunch by this point and is clearly wondering what took me so dang long. He opens the tractor door and tells me to put the auger on the grain cart up. I respond with a blank look. I have no idea which lever controls the auger in this thing. I barely got it over here. He holds up his first finger. I try the number one lever... Nothing. I try pushing the number one lever backwards... Still nothing. I shake my head at Royce. He holds up two fingers. I try the number two lever. Forward, backward... Nothing. Royce starts messing with the hydraulic lines on the back of the tractor.

Seven minutes (and multiple attempts) later: The grain cart auger finally goes up! We rejoice, then he tells me to remember which lever it was so when I'm running this tractor over the Thanksgiving holiday, I know how to do it. Oh joy!

Our seemingly quick lunch meal somehow managed to turn into about a 45-minute ordeal. And that, my friends, is how things happen when you want an uneventful lunch date with a farmer.

Yay corn! And bee's wings with lunch!
The lunch date crasher: PTO.
"Now try 1 again." *head shake* "Now try 2 again." *head shake* "Now try 1 again."
My reaction to "Don't forget how to do this so you can help while you are off of work."
This is the 21st day (posted on the 24th day of November) of my 30 Days of Texas Panhandle Agriculture series. To read more, please visit this introduction postIf you have questions or ideas you'd like me to write about concerning Texas Panhandle agriculture, I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Goes along with the famous/infamous phrase, "I need you for just a minute". hahahaha!


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