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Fall, family and harvest

October 3, 2016 - Tiffany Larson
Four years ago I shared a lyric on social media from Tim McGraw’s song “My Little Girl.” It read, “Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.” Those words still tug on my heart strings. I find it amazing how music can instantly send you on a journey. In this moment I flashed back to that little girl with pig tails in her hair, boots on her feet, and the love of country life in her heart. I can taste homemade pumpkin pie and raisins. I see myself taking turns riding in the combine with Dad and my Grandparents. I hear the leaves falling from the trees and crinkling in the wind. I feel the temperature getting cooler. I breathe in the smell of the fresh country air. It’s harvest time.

Since I was little, Fall has been one of my favorite “F” words. Those that know me well may think I am speaking of my love-hate relationship with gravity when in actuality I am referencing my favorite season, Autumn. Growing up on a farm northeast of Webster City allowed me to grow even fonder of this time of year. Playing in the leaves, scavenger hunts with the card club kids, sweatshirts and bonfires, and getting to ride in the field with family during Harvest time; these were all the perks of being a farm kid. Being the oldest allowed me to witness first hand the dedication my dad and grandparents put into farming each year.

As I grew older I knew that I would graduate high school and head off to further my education. This die-hard Cyclone fan had only one college in mind. I set off to chase those dreams at Iowa State University, but knew home was only a short car ride away. The changing colors while walking on campus, home football games, and intramural flag football were some of my fondest memories of ISU at fall time. They continue to flood my mind as Homecoming nears. Thanks to KQWC radio, I will be getting to reminisce with college friends and enjoy cyclONEnation football for the celebration later this Fall.

Upon graduation I ventured off to tackle the world with a diploma in hand. I found myself in my first “real job,” once again living less than an hour from home. In that time, I made more autumn memories sitting around bonfires and painting pumpkins with the youth I worked with. In 2008, an unforeseen family accident brought me back home. Although I missed working with the youth, I knew home was where my heart had always been. Caregiving allowed the bond with my family and harvest to grow even stronger. Crop touring, delivering meals to the field, and trick-or-treating to mom all decked out in her Halloween costume became part of the perks of fall on the farm.

Eight years later I find myself with a career I love, in a town I adore, living in the house I grew up in. I’ve chased those dreams and let the country roads lead me back home. Home to where I can enjoy Rotary Turkey Dinners, strolling down Second Street on Ladies Night Out, sipping on a Dirty Pumpkin Chai at Mornin’ Glory, dressing up as a zombie for a great cause, and making new memories on the farm. Getting to see my nephew’s face light up when he gets to go for a ride in the “tractor” brings me such joy. As the first grandkid in the family, he is getting to experience all of the same milestones that come with being a family that farms. There is also something serene about sitting on the deck enjoying the sound of my father in the combine across the road during Harvest. It humbles me to know that Grandpa is watching over everyone working hard to take the crop out of the fields. It is with a grateful heart that I give thanks for fall, family, and harvest.

To the many farmers and their families making your own memories, I wish all of you a happy and safe Harvest this Fall.

 
 

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