After Dark
Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

My wife Lisa goes to be about ten o clock each night. I sometimes will join her and sometimes not. I like to stay up late. I have even gone so far to say that there is a whole other world that starts when primetime ends. It’s a time of night filled with re-runs, the Internet and perhaps a sandwich. Join me as we go after dark.

I usually start off by switching our television to the satellite dish. I like "Third Watch" re-runs and keep them on in the background while I fill the humidifier and let our dog Muffin out for a bathroom break. I then sit down for a little TV until I get the direction of the story, from then on I merely monitor the tube from the other room. I have taken to baking bread lately so I usually make a huge sandwich and then head for my computer.

The Internet for me is like a huge classified ad listing that never stops. I fool myself into believing that I will just check my email, my website and then quit. The session begins that way but rarely ends with a few quick replies to messages or a check on Scottish Highland cattle offered for sale. I will never fault a woman for shopping for bargains because I do it myself. I love to EBAY! Ebay is the online auction where you can buy almost anything. I like to search for whisky decanters made in the shape of cattle. Cattle decanters are the only thing I collect and really enjoy it. It’s an innocent little interest but opens the door to more. When I check into the agriculture section it’s already too late. I check for tractors even though I have no intention of owning any tractor besides the one that sits in the shed. I usually will run across an old Oliver caterpillar and my palms immediately begin to sweat. I might own a Cletrac or OC-3 track-tractor one day but will probably never find a use for it. Such is the addiction.

Next we move on to seedbed preparation and planting equipment. I seek out chain harrows and three point mounted no-till planters at reasonable prices. The former is as infinitely possible as the latter is impossible. The problem isn’t the price of the items, it’s the shipping. I have a three-wheeler living in a warehouse in Northern California the better part of a year waiting for transport. I paid very little for it and have almost accepted agreed to high-cost shipping on more than one ocassion. Somehow I’ve resisted and continue to pursue the mythical extra space on a flatbed that just happens to be bound from Alturas, California to somewhere (anywhere) near me. I used to laugh at people who believed in UFO’s but I would guess that the people who believe in UFO’s will see green men before I ever see that little atv. I purchased it in a weak Internet moment late at night with the TV on in the background and a sandwich poised just near enough to be reached without taking my eyes from the screen.

Not all is weird that occurs when I am by myself after dark. Muffin gets petted, I may plug the tractor in and check the cattle one more time or even read. Speaking of things that aren’t too strange I even wrote this column after dark. Well, maybe that wasn’t a good example.