Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blessed and Grumpy

My family tells me I have been a bit grumpy lately. At first I denied it, and I admit, rather loudly denied it. I wasn’t grumpy, maybe annoyed, maybe testy but definitely grumpy. Then I admitted it. OK, so the fact that the dogs wouldn’t look at me, the cats avoided me and I found myself alone was a clue. Yes, the first thing to do when you have a problem is to admit it. I was grumpy.
Why would a guy with as a life as great as mine be grumpy? Well, I do get a little testy around this time of the year. You may wonder how anybody could get grumpy this time of the year, with spring springing into action. That is all part of the problem. Spring has sprung and along with it a growing list of things that need to be done and done right now. The days may be growing longer but the time is getting shorter.
The fences need mended, cows need vaccinated, lambs need weaned, crops need planted and hay needs to be baled and all need to be done in a timely manner. Most of it needs to be done by tomorrow or before. So I guess I have had a little on my mind. Now, I know this is not a good reason to be grumpy, but I guess I couldn’t help myself.
That was all before today. We started planting corn today and my stress level started going down. Sounds kind of wrong, doesn’t it. I am not sure if I can explain it but, the smell of the newly planted fields and the feel of the earth beneath my feet as I walked across it suddenly put everything into perspective. I guess there is something therapeutically appealing about pouring seed into the planter.
Today, while I watched the tractor and planter roll through the fields, I realized that I am a lucky man. The hills and prairie around me is incredibly beautiful. Newly burned pastures are transforming from black to a fuzzy green. The trees are in different stages of leafing out. Some are in full foliage and others have a green haze to them. The dogwood, redbud and plum bushes add color to the draws. The creeks are gurgling with water and warm winds carry spring across the landscape.
The farmland is a patchwork of newly tilled fields, last year’s brown crop stubble and the lush green growth wheat fields. The air is filled with calls of birds from bobwhites to the rumbling gobble of turkeys. Blooms of all kinds fill the breezes with a heavy perfume. All of this is almost too much to take in.
That was when I realized just how good I have it. All of my life I wanted to farm and ranch and here I am. My office has no walls, my office chair is the well-worn seat of my pickup and the décor on the walls is incredible. I work with my family each day on land that we have owned for over 100 years. I get to see new calves and lambs born and crops grow. Sure, life is a bit hectic right now but that is all part of the life I have chosen.
I know we all have those times in our lives where we are stressed and growl and snarl at those around us. I am equally as sure that during those times we should take a step back, inhale deeply and think about our lives. We need to take stock in all the good things around us. We need to count the many blessings in our lives.
Yes, I am a blessed man and certainly should not be grumpy. After all, I live in the greatest nation on this earth, I have the freedom to pursue the life of my choice and I get to help feed the world. More importantly than all of that I have a family who loves me, no matter how grumpy I might get.

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