Harvest was in full swing and my farmer husband of two months came in the house and decided it was time for me to help out in the grain hauling capacity. As a farmer’s daughter, I had ridden with my Dad many times to the grain terminal or the elevator as we called it. Into the truck I climbed with a vague question for my husband…. “What do I do when I get there??”
“Just follow the truck in front of you. You will probably have to wait in line and that will give you a chance to observe what everyone else is doing. ”
It seemed simple. I was a recent college graduate. I should be able to handle this.
As luck would have it, when I arrived and pulled into the grain terminal, there was no one in sight. No long lines of trucks waiting to dump their grain. I glanced in the rear view mirror hoping maybe someone had pulled in behind me. I would just let them go around me and then I could see what I should do. Again… no luck. I waited a few minutes, praying for someone else to come along and then remembering … they were waiting for my empty wagons back at the farm.
I spotted someone down the hill leaning on a shop broom next to the huge silos and the grates that covered the pits where the grain was dumped and I thought… well that’s where I need to be. So I slowly took off toward the dumping area. I lined the truck and wagons up so that my wagon was direcly over the grate and the gravity wagon door could be opened to release the grain. I was feeling pretty good about this until the young man with the broom came over and waited at the truck window. I didn’t know what he was waiting for so I said, “Hi. I want to dump my soybeans here.”
“Where is your slip?” he replied.
“I don’t have a slip. Where do I get one?”
He looked at me kind of funny and said, ” Did you weigh in at the scales?” I gave him a blank look. “First time here? ” he continued. I nodded my head.
He proceeded to instruct me to pull on through, go back to where I started and pull onto the scales to be weighed. “After they weigh your outfit, you go inside and they give you a slip of paper with the moisture levels and other information. Then you come back down here and you can dump your soybeans.” He was really very nice about the whole thing. Maybe I wasn’t the only first timer he had ever dealt with. But standing alongside the silos were a couple of other workers who were getting a big kick out of the girl in the truck that had no clue where to go. I felt my face flush a bit, put the truck in gear and headed back to the beginning.
Wouldn’t you know? By the time I got straightened around and back in line for the scales, there were three other outfits in line ahead of me. I had plenty of time to observe the correct way to weigh my grain and go to the dumping site.
When I got back to the dumping site for the second time, I was ready. I had my slip. I smiled at the guy with the broom, “Long time… no see.” He grinned and took my slip.
And when I got home with my empty wagons, my husband said, “Must have been busy at the elevator today.”
I just nodded my head.