Monday, October 20, 2014

#193. or, Harvest Beard.

Harvest beard is totally a thing,


  I mean, it's not that much of a stretch to compare hockey play-offs to harvest, as both are the final step toward a goal that you set out to achieve at the beginning of a long season.  A season, generally filled with many trials and tribulations, as you make your way toward that end, no matter how well you think you had things planned before you even got started. Of course, when my harvest is just getting under way and my "play-offs" are just beginning, hockey is just barely crawling out of it's starting blocks, but I don't see it why wouldn't it be alright to steal someone else's superstitious symbol of good luck as a means to an end, as it were, in seeing one cruise to the culmination of their season, without sustaining any serious catastrophe?

  So, as I started my harvest, about a month ago, I made the decision not to shave until that last bushel of grain was in the bin. Even if I was the only one doing it, I was going to be the trailblazer for my fellow farmers and years from now, as richly bearded combine pilots circled their machines and gathered for supper on the edge of some far off field, they'd sip coffee and reminisce about that one brave and envisioned soul who started the whole harvest beard tradition. All the while stroking their glorious manes.

  The thing I neglected to take into account though, is that combining is in fact a terribly dusty endeavour. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, seldom is the day that you don't forget to step to the side when you open up some inspection door and end up with a neck full of barley dust. Added to that, I had this on-going issue of an air conditioning system that annoyingly insisted on blowing warm air at me during the heat of the day, and cool air at me soon as the sun went down. I found myself sitting there with 4 days of beard stubble, sweating and dusty, wanting to scrub my face off with a wire brush.

  After about a week of this insane, self inflicted facial torture, and trying to cram as many usable hours of the day and night toward harvest that I could, it rained. For about a week. And my harvest beard disappeared. It's probably a good thing, as I suspect it's much more pleasant for the guy on the other side of the parts counter to deal with well-groomed-agricultural-professional-guy, as opposed to grizzled-faced-vacant-eyed,-zombie-farmer-guy. But I'm just conjecturing there.

   Throughout the remainder of harvest, I never actively tried to pursue my harvest beard. That's not to say there weren't instances when I was more than a little lax at my facial grooming, but that was more a product of time management than actively trying to perpetuate some sort of new harvest tradition. Unlike the hockey player who is often gone from home for long periods of time, I still saw my wife every day, and it was far easier for me to get her to share her sweet, sweet sugar with me when my face was pleasantly smooth.

  Still though, I have this awesome idea to start a farmer hipster beard trend over the winter, but you probably haven't heard of that yet. It's going to be awesome!

  .............soon as I figure out how to make sitting in a tractor for 12 hours in skinny pants comfortable.