Letter to Dave 22

Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

Dear Dave,

Do you suppose God has a sense of humor or likes a good prank?  I wrote a letter to you earlier but by tonight’s reading  I found it lacked inspiration.  I trashed most of it and started back in like a coal miner digging friends out from a cave in.  Writing  feels like digging into something, I like the work but it’s not always easy.  After a little time I had a decent letter but then it happened,  my computer blinked and that letter left the screen.   I pounded the desk in anger and yelled some non-family friendly words. Lisa just kissed me and exited stage right for bed.

Maybe that other letter was just too contrived to be published.  I was very tired and might have been trying too hard to be funny or straining to be clever.  That little blip of poor computer programming caused my letter to you to disappear but also gave me the chance to write a better version.  I can even remember most of the “gone” letter but none of it seems fresh anymore.  I didn’t desert it, it deserted me.

So what should I say this time?  I can tell you that we’re all doing pretty well around home.  The cattle are fine and every animal on this farm was comfortable on Christmas Eve.  I always strive for that each year, a little comfort for everyone.  The idea of banishing world hunger or peace for all parts of the world seems overwhelming and abstract for someone who can’t imagine four billion people.   However, I can give the cattle more straw and I can help my wife clean the house.  I guess it’s the little things that count especially when  little things are what you can offer.

Our side of the family celebrates Christmas this week-end.  We’re mostly boys in this family and boys usually celebrate Christmas with the wife’s family.  I like the way we do things, though.  Everyone brings soup and bread and a gift to pass.  It changes the focus and makes the evening simple.  Dad will make soup like we grew up with only he doesn’t so much dice the vegetables as maybe cut them in half.  I like the big chunks as I thought I was the only one in the world who liked vegetables that big  until he started making soup.  It should be one of the nicest evenings of the year.

This is a much different letter than the one it replaced.  I’m even a little different as I will now and forever save my column as I type it just in case one of those letter-losing electric blips visits me again.

Happy New Year