Saturday, February 14, 2009
The family part was hard. In March of every year I'd begin to make casseroles, meatballs, bbq, what ever I could think if to have meals ready to heat and eat. As well as baking up a storm so the kids had cookies, etc.. The food in the freezer usually lasted until the first week or so of June. And then DH had to fend for the family and things would get yucky. Now mind you he did take over the laundry ( and still does to this day) and the kids had chores to help with the housework. Mom had Sundays off from work. After church I got the nitty gritty cleaning done and it was back to getting up and working 12-16 hour days 6 days a week.
My boss was very understanding about family. He said that I didn't have to come in to work until the kids were off to school. Since DH worked an hours drive away that meant that I was there to get the four of them up and ready for the day. The 2 older boys were in high school so they had practices, etc.. to tend too but we had it worked out that someone was home with the younger 2 elementary age kids. Many days I was the last one in to work and the other trucks and fertilizer applicators were long in the fields. Most night during planting season I was home about 8 pm. I was able to attend their evening concerts and most other events. The hard part came when the secretary would radio me that the school was on the phone and could I come pick up a sick child. That happened more than I care to remember during the 5 spring/ summer seasons I was there. My mom, God bless her, would usually come to my rescue.
And then planting was done and there was no need of fertilizer. I was asked to stay on and drive a water truck. I would load the chemicals in 2.5 gallon jugs in boxes or large 110-250 gallon totes on the truck and fill the 2 1500 gallon tanks on the truck bed with water. Crawling around and up and down the truck bed all day long. Filling a crop sprayer ( Rogator) with water and chemicals for our company applicator to apply to crops for farmers. Now mind you, this was in the big trucks that were converted semi cabs. The fertilizer boxes would be hoisted off the truck frame and then the water tanks beds were placed on the truck frame for their purpose. This is where the 15-16 hour days were.
You were paired with a male applicator as his driver and that's where you were most of the time. Mid May thru early July. Days off only happened if it rained a lot or if it was so windy that you couldn't spray. The chemical and water won't reach the plants and weeds if the wind is strong. If we were in the yard at the company you'd better find something to do or you were sent home. So I cleaned vehicles, Terragators*, Ro*gators, offices, filed papers in the office, whatever needed doing to rack up the overtime. I'd earn just as much in 3.5 months doing that as I did in my other 2 jobs the rest of the year.
And next time, ( if you're still up to reading this dribble!) I will tell you about learning to drive the water truck. Which had a trailer on behind it to pull the Ro*gator on it to pull from field to field. Scary , scary times for that 30 something woman. I'll have to try and get pictures scanned for you to see what some of the equipment was and give you an idea of what was involved.
So this is it?: And I kept going back for more!: