We are not foreign
to harvest machinery breaking down.
It is to be expected
every year
during wheat harvest.
But it never dawned on us
that the pecan harvest might
come to a profound halt
due to equipment failure. It did.

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Shaking the first tree of the day

DSCN8297Grands watch their first pecan harvest

Ann’s sons, Brok and Ben,
and their families arrived on Thursday
energized about the celebration
and the good work
that is pecan harvest. Especially
this year, with a bumper crop.
Friday we were in the pecan grove
until nightfall,
shaking trees, collecting pecans in tarps
then hulling and sorting them.
All hands were busy, including three
one-year-olds,
who figured out the hulling
very quickly. We brought home
1200 pounds of pecans on Friday.

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DSCN8313Lunch break
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Brok, making a theatrical plea to end lunch break and get back to work

DSCN8344A day’s harvesting

Saturday, everyone was eager
to get back to the grove. That’s
when it happened: something broke
on the tractor’s PTO apparatus
which runs the shaker. We called
a couple of mechanic-minded friends,
but no one could figure how to fix it.
The tractor had to be hauled to Perry
to be diagnosed on Monday. By then
family will have returned to their homes
in Colorado.

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Leaving the pecans hanging,
we spent two days, hulling and sorting
the pecans from the husks,
the Kansa from the Pawnee.
We moved the operation
from the grove to Ann’s front yard
and enjoyed the conversation,
the work,
the gorgeous autumn weather,
the light on the pond next to us
and, immensely,
each other.
If love makes pecans taste better,
these will be the best.