When in Farm Country ...

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I’ve mentioned before that we’re back-roads people. A good part of our getting anywhere involves paved county roads. Usually they create a shorter, more scenic, less-traveled path than the state and U.S. highways in our area. And so it was today when I took the kids on a little outing, that I was reminded why I usually avoid the county roads during spring planting and fall harvest here in our agricultural area.

A huge combine, coming in our direction, covering both lanes and shoulders of the road. Farther down the road, a tractor, and wagon needing the entire road to negotiate a turn into a narrow field approach. And finally, another combine coming our way.

The third time it happened, my son said, “I guess no one wants us to get to town today.”

I’m not complaining, not one bit. It’s part of what comes with having a cornfield in my front yard and a barn out my kitchen window. Oh, yeah, and a husband who farms.

So when I encounter combines and tractors and sprayers on the road at this time of year, I pull into a field approach and wait for them to pass, and give a friendly wave and a smile that says, “I’m not annoyed that you took up the whole road and I lost three minutes out of my day.” They have work to do, feeding this country we live in. And besides, they’re bigger then I am.

If you’re traveling in rural areas during the busy seasons, my advice is to stick with the main roads if you’re in a hurry. But if you want to give your kids the chance to see a combine or tractor up close, and watch a field of soybeans or corn being harvested, try the back roads. Just be ready to pull into a driveway or field approach quickly if sharing the road isn’t an option.


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