Monday, October 13, 2008

Mannah from Heaven!

As many of you know, my parents live in Idaho. With no stops, it's about a four and a half hour drive for us to get to their house. Each fall my parents glean potatoes after the potatoes have been harvested. This year since my dad is driving over the Teton pass to work each day, mom had to find someone else to help glean the fields. Mom's best friend is in her early forties and has six kids, the same age as mine down to newborn. Since this friend lost her mother many years ago, my mom stepped in to help give her advice on raising kids and helps her like a mom when she has babies. Since there's only a decade difference in age, it works well for them to also be best friends.

Now that you have the background information here's the story! Mom took her best friend's kids to help glean the fields. Their first gleaning was red potatoes. When they drove into the field, right there on the edge of the field was a big puddle full of spuds. Those kids had a hayday digging potatoes out of the mud. Mom said it looked like there was trouble getting around that corner because of the puddle so they dropped all the potatoes on the belt and picked up once they got around the corner, leaving probably hundreds of pounds of red potatoes for someone else to discover.

The second time they went to glean, they wanted russets. Mom pulled into the field and found tons of potatoes again, right there on the edge of the field. They filled the back of her jeep with all the plastic bags mom brought chock full of russets. Mom's best friend ended up with easily a dozen boxes of potatoes between the two gleanings and my parents with probably as many.

A day or so goes by and mom gets a phone call from her best friend, "You didn't need to glean potatoes. Come to my house and see." Mom's friend lives next to the highway and there is a ditch between her house and the highway. A potato truck filled with thousands of pounds of potatoes hit the ditch with one tire, which of course toppled the truck, dumping potatoes onto mom's friend's yard. The farmer came with another truck and a front loader and scooped everything he could, telling her she could have the rest. Mom and her friend spread the word for people to please come take whatever potatoes they wanted from her yard. 30-40 families have gleaned potatoes from her yard and there are still potatoes left waiting to be claimed.

With the economy the way it is right now, those potatoes serve as a blessing for many families to be fed this winter. Mom described it as "Mannah from heaven."

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