Monday, October 8, 2012
Peanuts… this & that
There are so many more important things that tell our peanut story. This is my way of continuing the story and not leaving out what is most important to me.
The tool boxes are always open… always ready to be used. When a “fix” is completed the tools go back to their rightful spots until next time. We are an organized crew.
Van working on his picker. He told me his first tool of choice is the medium sized ball ping hammer. It usually does the trick. He is not using it here though, just a wrench to bend the panel just a little so the peanuts pour easier into the wagon.
We really like things kept as clean as possible even though we are in the middle of a dusty peanut field. And you know what they say… cleanliness is next to Godliness. Some are better at this than others.
Just another day at the office.
We had a huge sink hole open up in the middle of the first peanut field that was dug. Luckily is was seen early enough to avoid!!
It’s lunch time. We do it tail gate style.
I had many jobs during peanut season. Mostly I was “on-call”. If they needed parts, a ride somewhere, equipment moved, to run an errand, or pretty much anything, I was the one to help. Just call me the gopher (or maybe queen gopher). I am just happy to be on the crew. Just happy to do my small part in the whole peanut process. But my biggest job was lunch lady. I prefer to be called lunch angel or even lunch queen… you know what they say… if the crown fits… anyway this was not always an easy task but it was always very rewarding. I would have to decide what to fix that could still be edible in the middle of a peanut field, find out how many I was fixing for, and find out where everyone would be because sometimes they were pretty spread out. No worries, I would find them and feed them… it was my mission and I chose to accept it. There were many times it was “get-it-and-go”. They had no time to stop so we did it on the run or in our case on the roll. But luckily when they started eating earlier they could at least stop long enough to fix a plate and actually taste what they were eating. I am here to tell you that the way to a man’s heart IS through his stomach. As long as there is meat and bread, dessert and sweet tea, they are happy. I have always tried to tell the boss man that they may work a little slower after eating but they will work longer and harder. I was elated when they would get so excited to see my truck come into the field. They were always so appreciative of everything. I believe I could have taken road kill and they would have eaten it as long as they had sweet tea to wash it down. I learned quickly to bring enough so that they could have that 3 o’clock snack that would carry them to quitting time. I loved to sit and listen to them talk. Ninety percent of what they talked about was peanuts, ours and everybody else’s. And of course they had to pick on each other and continually throw each other under the bus all the while doing it with affection. It was very comical and usually the highlight of my day. I have many times seen those old dirty hats come off as they bow their heads to say a silent prayer. I am sure they were thankful for the food but I am also sure there were some “Lord, please give us a few good hours'’, in there too. There is a brotherhood, a camaraderie of sorts. They work together for the same end result. So many different entities coming together with a common goal. A single objective. I love to watch it in action and I love to be a part of it. It definitely is not always fun and games. As much as I loved to hear them talk about the peanuts and kid each other about everything it breaks my heart when there is that deafening silence because they are so worn out, aggravated, and at their wits end. There is no way to put into words the blood, sweat, tears, physical, spiritual, and mental work that goes into what these guys do every day. I have seen them completely throw themselves into something only to have to get up and walk away for a moment to collect their thoughts and what little sanity they are still hanging onto. I have seen another come up and either lend a hand or an idea that can completely change the whole dynamic of the situation. Those are the small moments of joy that we rarely get time to really celebrate but they are welcomed and I am sure they get the proper celebration in private when all has calmed down. I cannot count how many hours of over time and weekend time they have gone through to get to this point. I can only imagine the time they missed out on family time to get the job done. I have lived through the disappointment and devastation that comes from a really sucky day but I have also lived through the joy and elation of a few hours with no breakdowns or rain. It is all part of the job and they do it all extremely well. Those last few acres are still giving them a fit but not enough of one to stop them from trying again and again. Now it is onto the next job… cows and hay. There is never much of a break but they are used to that aspect of the job. It is an honor to work with these guys and they have my utmost respect for what they get done and what they have to do and go through to achieve it.
Our lunch spot the last week was quite breathtaking. Lots of beautiful shady oak trees. Hard to believe this is along side a major highway. It is the little things that make me the most thankful sometimes. Like our lunch guest, such a sign of hope and the wonderful things to come!!
This is the hand washing station. I think it is a requirement on a work site. I did not take a picture of the port a john… just imagine a tree… any tree… now you get the picture. But this leads me to the last picture. My absolute favorite…
I watch these guys wash the dirt, grime, dust, and grease off their hands. Most of it will come off. But there are some stains that are just there. I have seen Adam scrub his hands many times and I know they are as clean as mine but the stain remains. Be still my heart… a working mans hands… reminds me of my Daddy’s. So strong yet so gentle. All those years of hard work and I feel like it is a trophy or a reward. It is definitely a badge of honor in my book. Some may say these hands are the hands that work the hardest… possibly true. I truly think these are the hands of someone who loves what they do. Someone who puts ALL they are into it and it would be impossible to come away without some small part of it. The only thing I can imagine being more precious to me than these hands will be these hands wrapped around a tiny baby. Can you hear my heart melting!!! I know I will get to see that one day, when the time is right. But until then a Nie-Nie can dream. Have I told you lately that I LOVE FARMERS!! especially mine… they come from really good stock!!
at 9:09 PM