I was up late last night working on stuff, in fact, I am still up as I post this just after midnight, and I kept finding myself coming back to this image.

It made me giggle a little bit when I saw my friend Ben pulling his bicycle off the road and into the ditch to allow this farmer free passage. I managed to catch the respectful wave of both Ben and the farmer. That moment meant something to each of them and to me.

You see, this image has a bit of a deeper meaning for me. It reminds me of growing up on a farm in northern MN. I used to operate a combine very much like the one coming down that road. I remember servicing the combine every morning. Filling it with fuel. Blowing out the filters. Greasing the bearing and turning points. The long days in the field during harvest. I remember the smell of the dusty air and chaff that trails the combine as you go up and down the field hour after hour.  I remember being covered in dust and sweat after a long, long day of work.  I remember going to bed after a bath and a late dinner knowing that sunrise was only hours away and we’d be doing it all over again.  As Ben and I rolled through the countryside earlier this week, I was reminded of so much. While I don’t want to be a farmer, I respect Farmers a great deal. I also am thankful that because I grew up on a farm, I learned to work hard at whatever I do. Growing up operating machinery like that and learning to care for the land and equipment is a big part of who I am today. I have such respect for farmers and what I learned from growing up on a farm.

8 thoughts on “Respect

  1. Awesome shot and very true. Much respect to those folks. One time this summer I was out on gravel and a tractor with a huge sprayer fully extended was coming down the road, as we approached each other I slowed down and got way to the side and he raised the sprayers (forgive my lack of knowledge of the real word for them). I expected him to be sort of pissed that he was interrupted. Instead he smiled, waved and I did the same. Love riding out on those roads.

  2. Excellent image! I was raised on a small farm in Iowa until I started high school. While I resented having to do chores before sunrise and school every morning and the long hours, and happily moving away at my first opportunity, I am grateful for the lessons I learned there and I miss that pace of life and the relationships with extended family and neighbors formed there. It made me self-sufficient, hard-working, and unafraid to jump in and figure things out for myself. I have nothing but respect for those who choose that lifestyle, as I know of no profession that provides the combination of physical, emotional, and financial challenges that farmers have to face. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and images.

  3. True that. Hogs, beef, dairy. I never operated a combine, but picked many a rock and packed many a bail in the hay mow.

    Raced a john deer the other day on Holyoke south of Lakeville. I needed the tail wind to keep him at my 6 o’clock.

    See you at the river this Fall/ winter I recon.

    1. Larry so true. Livestock is a whole ‘nother commitment level. I sur hope I see you out there. Rumor has it you are flying right now so please slow down enough to say hi! 😉

  4. Looking straight at those tines, on pretty much a one lane road, the ditch was pretty welcome. I figured I’d give him all the room he needed!

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