Most wonderful time of the year

Published 10:31 am Thursday, October 26, 2017

The “most wonderful time of the year” is upon us once again. It’s that time of year when people are getting busier and making plans. It’s that time when the hum of familiar tunes starts drifting through the air. It’s that time when decorations start dotting the landscape as we drive by.

Yes, that’s right, it’s harvest season. The smell of defoliant and dirt is in the air.

Farmers and their families are getting busy and making plans to get all their crops in quickly and efficiently. The hum of tractor engines—cotton-pickers and grain combines, bush hogs and sprayers—floats through the air like old familiar tunes we never quite forget. Cotton modules and hay bales decorate the fields as we drive by.

As the daughter of a farmer, it’s my favorite time of year. Now is the time when a year’s worth of hard work comes to fruition. The crops that farmers and their employees have spent months cultivating are now ready to be picked and sold and shipped and distributed throughout the country—and occasionally across the ocean too.

I think it’s really fantastic to witness the results of all that work every year, even though the dust flying through the air can make it difficult to literally see it.

This isn’t to say, however, that harvest time doesn’t come without its fair share of stresses. The work hours get substantially longer even though the daylight gets drastically shorter. Important equipment always has a ‘funny’ habit of breaking down whenever it’s most needed. And the uncontrollable weather plays a large part in whether it will ultimately be a ‘good year’ or a ‘bad year’ for the farmer (and every other agriculture-related industry).

In college, every time I would accidentally catch a stray whiff of diesel fuel from a truck passing by in October, I’d feel nostalgic for the hum of tractors and module builders, nostalgic for harvest season, nostalgic for home.

This time of year it’s not uncommon to get stuck behind a large slow-moving cotton-picker or grain combine or a tractor hauling an important piece of equipment or a truck pulling a peanut trailer full to the brim. If you’re in a hurry, it might be frustrating to get behind them, but farmers around here are courteous enough to pull over when there aren’t any mailboxes or road signs in the way.

Give them a friendly wave when you pass by. Remember, they’re simply doing their job. Just trying to get the crops picked so they can hopefully do it all over again next year.

Christmas may be fast approaching, and we’ll soon be flooded with caroling and colored lights and frantic gift-buying and peppermint-flavored drinks. All the things that typically go with the season, which has a reputation for being one of the most beloved.

But as for me, I’m here already enjoying the most wonderful time of the year.


Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or by phone at 252-332-7206.