Fall chores hazardous to health

With the lack of rain, harvest season has been none stop here at home.

In fact, I was kind of bummed when I returned home from vacation last week to see the corn had been harvested around my house.

Now I feel so exposed without the stalks to serve as my personal deer blind.

I miss my buffer. It takes awhile to get used to the bare landscape. One thing you notice out here after the corn is gone is the wind.

The other night I got out of my car and a gust blew my door open from out of nowhere. The door may or may not have hit another parked object in my driveway. I was afraid to look and it was dark and there was a full moon.

Other than a mishap or two, this year’s harvest has been fairly uneventful for Shorty and me. We’ve been called upon a few times to be gophers to help move Dad from farm to farm. We are like Dad’s personal Uber this time of year. It’s what we do best.

I’ve posted a few photos of our harvest on social media. One of Dad’s friends asked how many acres he had left this year after I posted a photo of the last cart of corn at my mom’s fields.

A wise man once said you never ask a woman her age. Well, a wise country girl once said you never ask a farmer how many acres they have left at the end of October.

It’s a touchy subject depending on the yields of the day.

I’ll also mow the yard one more time just to remind the moles who is really in charge around here. They have been building fancy condominiums in the east. If time share presentation signs pop up, we may seek intervention.

One thing I’m glad we don’t have to worry about here in the country is leaf collection.

Luckily, Norma Jean has a wonderful neighbor who takes care of the leaves for her in town. She always threatens to cut down this beautiful maple tree around this time of year because of all the leaves it creates. We, along with the beautiful maple tree, are so thankful for the wonderful neighbor and his leaf collector.

Earlier this month, Norma Jean had a few fall chores she asked me to help her with. One day we scraped and peeled the old paint off her shed together. A few weeks later I painted the bare wood. Unfortunately, as she was getting a chair to supervise out of the very same shed, she tripped and fell over a wheelbarrow. She quickly waved off offers to take her to get checked out and had me continue to paint. It’s just a bad bruise, she said.

Fast forward to this week, I went over to Norma Jean’s to clean the gutters and wrap the air conditioner to button up her home before winter.

As I was setting up the ladder, I asked how she was feeling from the fall. Of course, she claimed she was fine and maybe a little sore. As I watched Norma Jean hold a bucket up to me as I placed the wet leaves from the gutters, I saw a hint of pain.

It wasn’t until after we were nearly finished with this laborious chore that she confessed that she had, in fact, sought X-rays from her earlier fall. Here I was having her to hold a 5-gallon bucket to help gather the gutter leaves and she had slightly cracked ribs from two weeks earlier.

Tough old bird.

After this confession, I just shook my head. I wasn’t too thrilled that she kept her ailment from me. All the while, we moved the ladder around the house and kept on cleaning the gutters.

Just as I was about finished, I somehow jammed my right middle finger into the side of the house. Oh it smarted quite a bit, but I kept on working threw the sharp pain. The next morning my knuckle was swollen and I could barely hold a pencil, which is sort of imperative in this profession.

Hey, if Norma Jean can carry on with cracked ribs, I could tough out a broken finger (but man did it hurt). Us Yingst chicks aren’t wimps around here.

We may need to borrow some caution tape and some orange cones next fall, though.


“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. It’s funny how her penmanship has improved now that her finger is broken.

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. It’s funny how her penmanship has improved now that her finger is broken.