Light-hearted fun helps ease stress

Community spirit was alive and well in the Burnham farming district east of Swift Current, Sask., this fall.

Harvest time involves long hours, irregular meals, and anxiety, but there are still times when you can laugh and enjoy the camaraderie of a shared experience.

When Bob and Bev Horne finished augering the last bushel of wheat into the bin earlier this harvest season, they came home to the ghost of Billy Bazandowski, a long-ago owner of one of the quarters they farm. At 9:30 p.m., after 10 hours on the combine, a hole worn in the canvas, two broken sickle sections and a busted roll pin, they saw Billy sitting in the shed on the bucket of the front end loader.

At first, the effigy conjured up thoughts of intruders, threats or mishaps, but on closer inspection, they realized the installation was the work of a neighbour.

The tension of trying to finish harvest before the rain ebbed out of them in a hearty bout of laughter.

The tedium of travelling up and back, through fields over and over again, can be a lonely exercise. When grain is finally in the bins, farmers reconnect in all kinds of way — get-togethers, potlucks with neighbours and longer visits at the roadside. The farming community melds together by way of friends, family, and in some cases, the ghosts of yesteryear.

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