September 21, 2018 – 12:42 am
An email from Ben to his best pals, regarding his RSVP to his 40th birthday party in February 2019…….
So the sun has long since set here at the farm. Its just me and the dogs here in the barn office. Harvest is in full swing… the Gala crop has been picked. Honeycrisp will be wrapped up by next week. I usually end the day lining up our wholesale delivery trucks for tomorrow’s routes (that… along with a beer or two and a 3-minute break for a small cat nap on the desk…..). We’ll have 3 drivers rollin’ tomorrow AM. With good weather leading into the weekend, we should see strong retail sales and plenty of folks coming out to pick their own apples. All in all, the crop is looking good. We will finally see good returns off of the trees Dad and I planted the first year I moved home. Production should be the highest since my coming back. Quality yet to be determined…
It is far too frequent during this time of year that I get swept up in the hustle of harvest. This life Brooke and I have chosen has challenged us far beyond what I could have imagined. Many-a-day I question whether my shoulders are broad enough to keep this thing going. There is a constant juggle between managing a payroll of 35+ people, forecasting farm profitability (or lack thereof), making harvest & sales decisions… all while driving the forklift around our packhouse like a mad man. I miss my wife. I miss my kids. I long for the tranquility of farm life that was the picture I painted for Brooke so many years ago. But I don’t think tranquility is my nature.
It is in these moments that leaving Austin, Texas seemed like a damned foolish idea. Maybe because its human nature to look fondly on the past. Maybe because I found confidence in engineering that just isn’t part of farming with Mother Nature. Maybe because the co-workers I met in that town have turned out to be the most meaningful life-long friends. For that last reason, this trip is gonna be epic. I absolutely can’t wait to strap some boards on my feet and earn my turns in some of that fine “Champagne Powder” of Route County, Colorado! After I help my wife settle into life with new baby #4 and life as a family of six – I’ll be on the plane headed Westbound to play hard. See you Gents then. -Ben-