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  • Satin and slubbed silk -- that's what the fields looked like from the top of the combine, a scarlet monster against the undulant gold of the grain.

    I got to ride with Daddy way up high, watching the grain waver and submit to the combine head, that enormous maw that devoured everything in front of it, chewed it up, and spit it out the back into a grain wagon.


    Later the leftover stems would be woven into bales of straw -- Rumpelstiltskin in a magic mirror.

    It was long ago. No air conditioned cabs for us, just the heat sloughing past us.

    At the end of the day, we were grimy with dust, happy to eat supper and sit down and read.

    In the morning, Daddy had to explain that the wheat chaff made my eyes stick closed, and I'd have to work to get them open.

    It was summer, and work was love.
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