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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sugar Beet Harvest - Day # 9 - "If it's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium"

This is the title of a romantic comedy starring Suzanne Pleshette, made in 1969 about an 18 day whirlwind tour of Europe by a tour group.  After a week, or so of one country after another the characters start to forget what country they are in, or what day it is, hence the name.  If you are from my generation, or earlier you probably saw this movie, and it describes how I am beginning to feel each day.  The only difference is I'm in the same place every day, but I'm not sure what day it is.  It feels like it should be Thursday, or Friday, but it's really only Wednesday as I write.

Well, it was Tuesday, but this is still Sidney, MT, and I am still slinging sugar beets.  I celebrated briefly my success in sleeping more than 5 hours as I awoke at 3 pm.  I turned on the TV to see the MLB playoff game between the Tigers and Oakland A's.....does anyone even remember now a days that the "A" stands for "Athletics", or that many decades ago they were the Kansas City Athletics (1955 to 1967), or that even before that they were the Philadelphia Athletics (1901 to 1954)?  I do, but the question is "why?".......well, at any rate, I have been hoping that the Tigers will make it to the World Series, just as much as I hope my Dodgers make it.   The Tigers are the team our friends Karen and Krash root for each summer day, so we have had this friendly rivalry going on since my Dodgers came out of their "coma" in June and began to play baseball again.  We both hope our favorite teams meet in the big finale.  We'll Thursday if the dream is still alive.

We headed off to work at our usual 6:30 pm time, and within minutes we were back on location of our life, such as it is, working the Sugar Beet Harvest for one more day.....me on the front lines dodging sugar beets, and TLE sitting in her warm, well lit, comfortable office printing out weight tickets for the truck drivers.  When I say dodging sugar beets I am being literal as well as figurative.  In our orientation we are instructed to look "up" as little as possible when we are close to the piler as beets do come flying off.  Twice last night when I was pulling beet samples for the lab an errant flying beet struck me on the shoulder.  The day before one hit me square on the safety helmet.  Fortunately the big ones don't seem to be able to squeeze through the small openings in the machinery, and become airborne, because those 5 pounders would hurt....I usually get hit by the 1/2 to 1 pounders.  And then there is the ever present falling dirt that goes down my neck, past my shirt collar....I really am coming to dislike that.  It's a good thing TLE is not working out with me, because there no way we could both take 10 minute showers each night, and make it from pump out to pump out.  I need everyone of those 10 minutes to feel clean again.

We had a steady stream of trucks on our Tuesday/Wednesday shift, and TLE says we processed 91 trucks.....not our record for the night shift, but a very busy night nonetheless, and by 7 am I was going cross eyed......hmmm...I think I still am cross eyed.  At least today, Wednesday, I am no longer thinking in terms of "will I make it through this job", but now I am thinking of what I will do after I finish this job.....maybe soak in some hot springs somewhere for about a week.

Okay, time to start girding myself up for another shift.....it's 4:13 pm, and less than three hours until we do it all again.

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