A Life Less Listed
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Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

I make plans and sometimes they fall apart, it drive me crazy. I will right down my tasks the night before with a chronological schedule. Rarely am I able to complete each item on my list as planned and it’s frustrating. I could take the paper and use my skills in origami to fold it into a duck for the good it does me.

Today was a day that could have been planned only by a madman.

The day in question began and ended by hauling hay but the middle part of my day mocked any list I might have planned. I’d finished the first load of hay and was on my way home when the exhaust pipe fell off. It was so unexpected and almost appeared staged but there it was-that thick walled pipe cracked and fell off. The gobs and layers of weld bore witness to the fact that the pipe had cracked before but this was it’s first in my possession. I threw myself on the mercy of Steiger Manufacturing and soon the exhaust stack was welded up. There was still time for some serious hay transport. I was just leaving Steiger’s yard when I noticed smoke raising subtly through the dashboard. A spark during the repair landed in hydraulic fluid and started a nice fire under the cab. Bryan Steiger pointed out a fire extinguisher with the calm possessed only by a machinist with lots of experience around oily tractors and open spark. I arrived home then headed to the field carefully watching the clear, blue sky for a thunderbolt. I finally made it to the field and hauled hay successfully right up to the time that one of four ten ply tires went flat which ended my day. I heard a song lyric that goes, “if you wanna hear God laugh, tell him your plans.” I always thought he laughed because he’d already made those plans for us but maybe it’s because no one can control their future, you just deal with what you‘re given.

I listened to an “oldies” station this week and it was nice. The songs reminded of a time when an am radio and an uninterrupted supply of bubble gum was enough to satisfy me. I’ve gained things as I’ve aged but I always seem to expect more. I read once that a successful person can never be satisfied or he’ll fall behind. I think the definition of successful may be the problem with that sentence. I think when people say “success” they mean “money.” It’s that mentality which sometimes drives me to write lists with goals that are impossible. I’ve got to more closely associate success and simplicity, at least they begin with the same letter. I guess I could just accept that life is going to proceed as it will and the only change I can make is in how I react to my day. Those both sound like good ideas. I must put them on a list of things to do.