“Home sweet Home…”
“There’s no place like Home…”
“Home is where the heart is…”
These common sayings make all of us think of a certain place.
For me, home is a farmstead on a gravel road. Home is spending my Saturdays in the fall driving the tractor, catching corn on the go, and listening to Illini football on the radio (no matter how painful).
The last 2 weekends, I have had the opportunity to drive the 3 hours home to help my parents with harvest. Driving out of Champaign-Urbana for the first time in almost 2 months was crazy! THE CORNFIELDS WERE BROWN! When I moved in on August 20, the fields were still green. Now most fields have at least been opened up and many have already been picked. For the daughter of a grain farmer, fall and harvest go hand-in-hand. I feel like I didn’t even realize it was fall. I was missing all the key signs of the fields turning brown and my dad pulling out the combine that tell me that the fall season is here.
I also didn’t realize how much I love this time of year and how much I would miss harvest. Seeing the first combine picking corn just outside of Urbana sparked the first twinge of homesickness that I’ve felt since leaving my middle-of-nowhere home. I wanted sooooo badly to hop in the tractor and help out.
And that’s exactly what happened when I got home. I opened the door to an empty house, but knew where to find people. Within 10 minutes of pulling in my driveway, I was in the tractor and on my way out to catch my first load of the year. There is nothing like the sights, sounds, and smells of harvest!
My first harvest away from home has made me appreciate how wonderful it is and understand why it’s my dad’s favorite time of the year. I’m incredibly thankful for the bountiful harvest and for all the family, friends, and fun I got to enjoy while being home!