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Monday, October 7, 2013

Sugar Beet Harvest - Day # 7 - Long Night's Journey into Day

I was thinking last night, in between trucks, that every workamping job we take involves 12 hour shifts.....and two of them involved working when the sun don't shine.  I think there is a disturbing trend here.  The trend?  Why are we doing this to ourselves.....not once, but thrice in less than a year?  I'm beginning to think it's like giving birth for a woman......you forget about all the pain, discomfort, and suffering and decide to do it again.  Either that or we are in serious need of mental health counselling.  Every time I think I got "this" under control and I'll just sail to the end in classic Hockwald fashion I find myself at 3 am wondering why I am not at some nice hot springs somewhere, not in Montana, soaking away my aches and pains.  That's what rational, sensible, mature people would do if they have the means, and the where with all to do so, right?

Or, I could have been "home" watching my Dodgers beat up on the Braves last night instead of picking up errant sugar beets and tossing them back into the hopper.  Speaking of errant sugar beets, TLE and I have a running joke every night as we enter the Factory piling station...when we see sugar beets lying along side the road we say "look honey another sugar beet trying to escape!".......the next thing we should say to each other is "why aren't we escaping?".....but we don't say it, and we don't try to escape....we just get out of the car, punch the time clock and head off to another 12 hour shift like lemmings......well I do...TLE heads off to a well lit, warm, comfortable work space, so maybe that's why she is not trying to escape, huh?

Okay, well, that's my pity party for Monday.......we have now completed 7 of 21 days of this marathon.  The Sunday/Monday shift was quite warm....it was still 65 at 7 pm.  Quite the contrast from the prior two days.  What I found out that it doesn't matter what the temperature is, 12 hours is still 12 hours, and you still have to "do the time".  The nice thing is by Friday we will be past the half way point of our time committment. with the proverbial light beginning to become visible at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

FP4 was back on line for the beginning of our 7 pm shift.  It is still just Dallas and I running the piling station.  We are hoping to get a 3rd person by the beginning of our Monday/Tuesday shift.  Overall it was a slower evening as a number of growers weren't sending beets in to be piled since they (the beets) were over the 55 degrees (can't pile under 32, or over 55 degrees) due to the very warm day.  We processed around 55 trucks, so we had an occasional 10-15 minute break here and there.   

Handling sugar beets is a lot like trying to pick up a fish....they are very slippery, and over time that "slipperyness" begins to coat the conveyor belt parts, and eventually the belt will begin to slip under the weight of the beets, and, therefore, stop moving.....that happened around midnight last night.  So, once again we had to shut down FP4, and were banished once again to my least favorite piler....FP2....for the remainder of the shift.

There is nothing remarkable to report about the rest of the shift.....the sun came up again as it always does, and we headed home knowing we have about 14 days to go.  The odds are that since Monday's temperatures will again be in the mid 70's that they may have to stop piling, so we will find out later Monday afternoon if that is the case.

Sunrise

Still smiling........most of the time....in Sidney, MT......thanks for stopping by!

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