Letter to Dave-September 05
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Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

Dear Dave,

I know this is you busy season so I will keep this letter short. The last time we talked on the phone things were blowing up at your work. I always call you at work because your always at work at this time of the year.

I see the growing season as a funnel. Spring is the wide end of the funnel-everyone’s optimistic that any task can be accomplished. The calendar turns late spring to summer as the funnel narrows-it’s time to spray for weeds or cultivate row crops but there’s still time to plant alfalfa or go to the fair. We are now approaching the outlet of the funnel and like thirty weight oil in winter, if we don’t move quickly we’ll get stuck in the spout. I myself have CRP hay bales to move inside but await some repair to my loader. I spend most days dividing the bales that remain on the field by the amount of bales per load then divide that into the days we have before September 14th which is when the fields have to be clean. I’m getting a little stressed but since our nephew Reed is working towards a degree in the mental health field, I feel it’s only a show of familial support to develop some stress-related neurosis so Reed will have a little job security.

I recently borrowed a neighbors hay stacker for second cutting alfalfa. I’ve never liked round balers and like the simplicity of the stacker. I knew using this old beast to pick-up hay would stir-up Bray township. I was just into the first row when our neighbor, Lyle Swanson, stopped to ask about the stacker. Lyle’s baled a lot of hay in his time and his positive remarks gave me some confidence. I used to see hay stackers back in the seventies and since I view life through a nostalgic filter the stacker seems like a nice fit. I guess the proof will be in the hay and the feeding of it this winter. If anyone walks into your office with the offer of a cheap stack mover please handcuff him to a chair until I can get to Carrington.

On the home improvement front, we finally found a good place for the sign your daughter Erin made for our wedding. That sign has occupied several good spots over the last three years but never the right spot. Lisa found an old iron headboard out in the garage and had me mount the sign on it. I then built a couple of concrete pillars on which to mount the unit. We’ve always liked that sign but it looks even better properly mounted. Lisa and I are a good design team, she barks orders and I run around high-knee to carry them out. It’s a very amicable arrangement as long as I don’t look her directly in the eye. Lisa doesn’t tolerate “eye-ballin‘” from her husband. By they way, the legal team which consists of our dog, Muffin and a stray cat we’ve named “Lane” demanded I include a legal disclaimer that I didn’t mean any of the last three sentences. Not everyone has your good sense of humor, Dave. Tell everyone hello.

Your bro’

Grant