Friday September 1, 2006

I love living in the country.  I love it ALL the time.  However, I especially love it in harvest season!!  The combines and hay balers have been rolling, off and on, for a few weeks.  It won’t be long before they are chopping the feed corn for silage for the local dairies.  When the corn is being chopped and hauled to the silage piles, our roads are littered with straw that blows wildly as cars drive through it.

The most fun of all, though, is grape harvest!  There are hundreds, probably thousands, of acres in our immediate area that are owned by wineries.  Some are small independent wineries, but some of the vineyards in our area are owned by huge, very commercial wineries.

Late at night we can hear the machinery rumbling down our road.  Once the grapes are ready, we can hear the harvesting machinery running 24/7 all around us.  Since there are many, many varieties of wine grapes being grown, the harvest stretches for several weeks.  And since the harvest does last for several weeks, after awhile we tend to not even hear the noise from the machinery. Oh, but at the beginning of the harvest season, we delight in hearing the noise!

Night before last, just before drifting off to sleep, I heard the familiar rumble.  Now, I should confess admit  fess up mention that I sleep with ear plugs.  Copper is quite the snoring machine and that’s a noise that I have never learned to sleep through!  I tell you this just so that you get an idea of how loud this machinery is coming down the road.  I heard it even with the ear plugs!!  It had been since last fall that the grape harvesters had been down our road.  So, like a little kid, I leapt (yes, I did, I leapt!) out of bed, stumbled through my dark house without my glasses, and opened the front blinds to watch the brightly lit harvesters, and then the tractors hauling the receiving bins, go by.  They are quite an awesome sight all lit up late at night!! I think Copper must have thought that I had lost my mind!

Today, I was babysitting my eldest grandson and my granddaughter while Corin took the middle grandbaby to the doctor.  She called on her way back to my house to say, “Tractor Parade headed your way!”.   The term “Tractor Parade” has been a mainstay in our vocabulary, even since the days that Corin was still living at home.  She told me the direction the equipment was headed and that she was going to take an alternate route, rather than travel the remaining three or so miles behind their very slow procession.

The seven year old and my four year old grandson waited patiently at the fence by the road.  Their patience was very soon rewarded as one, two, three and then four of the enormous grape harvesters passed by.



I looked down the road,  waaaayyyy down the road, where the tractors pulling the bins were making their way ever so slowly toward our home.  Corin arrived in time for my three year old grandson to join the other two at the fence.

The boys waved and waved, but these men were dusty and tired.  They’d probably been in the vineyards working all night and until the middle of the day today.  And the grape harvest has only just begun.

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7 comments to Friday September 1, 2006

  • Your wonderful description made me feel like I was actually in line waiting for the tractor parade!!  Your home sounds like such a wonderful place to be:)  **Loved the earplugs story!!

  • I love the pic of the boys waving at the tractors.  It brought back wonderful memories of when my youngest was in love with the street sweeper.  When he would hear it coming, we’d have to tear outside and sit and wave at the driver as he drove by.  Then we’d chase it around the neighborhood for one more glimpse before it moved on.  🙂

  • How wonderful!  You have a great way of drawing your reader into the story!  I just wanted to let you know that I linked to your blog on mine. 

  • Ahhh harvest time! There’s nothing like it. Where my dh and I are from, they harvest corn and soybeans. In fact dh’s parents house is on the bean route. Once it really gets going, the trucks get backed up down their street every year. Its amazing to me though, they always try to keep the driveways open. They are good about waving to the kids when we visit. 🙂

    I long to live in the country! Dh has 6yrs left until he is finished with the Army. Then we will begin the search for our country home. Thank you for sharing yours with us. 🙂

    Be blessed

  • I may have passed by your house on my recent vacation!!! Such beautiful country in Northern California. We drove up the 5 and then through Hollister to the Monterey Peninsula! It was lovely….I love your photos, espcially with the kids at the fence looking at the tractors!!! 🙂  Have a wonderful Friday!!

  • I found another picture of your beautiful tea set. At least I think its the same pattern 🙂

  • Oh, how fun! Thank you for sharing such lovely photos of the harvest going on in your neighborhood. The picture of your son and grandson waving is so sweet. :0)