Yield: The god of rest and relaxation
Well, now, I write a few columns in advance so I can have a few weeks of “column respite,” and the god of rest and relaxation (GRR) decides to prove a point that he still has a say in how my personal world turns.
That “GRR force” in the universe has laws of universal effect. One of those laws is that every hour of rest and worry-free relaxation I achieved, required at minimum an extra hour of work. So, for every hour that I enjoyed fishing with my buddies, Albie Kirky, Claude Hopper and Mocephus, required two hours of work, either before or after that fishing took place.
That “pre and post” work was gardening, weeding, mowing, cleaning, trimming, mixing, sorting, loading and unloading — plus writing three columns in advance.
Still, I have no real complaints about the reciprocity. The extra work wuz worth the fun. We four aging amigos fished for three days running and caught the fishing “just right” and ended up with several gallons of tasty fish fillets for future eating.
However, my “column respite” went beyond fishing and included graduation ceremonies for two grandchildren. Our oldest grandson graduated from my old alma mater, Bea Wilder U, in Manhattan, Kan., and our youngest granddaughter from elementary school in Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, Tenn.
The grandson’s graduation was without incident. Fight a normal crowd, sit quietly for an hour, clap and holler when the graduate walks the stage and grabs the sheepskin, fight the crowd getting out, take plenty of pictures to commemorate the occasion and party hard for a couple of hours.
The highly anticipated trip to Tennessee turned out to be not that simple. That aforementioned GRR decided to prove another point that there’s truth in the old adage: “Too much coughin’ might lead to a coffin.”
That’s right, on the first day of our trip to Tennessee, the GRR decided I should get a summer cold to end all summer colds — complete with bronchitis, lung and nasal congestion, and a nasty cough deep and persistent enuf to cause searing rib pain and actual bruising around the left side of my waist.
And, to top that off, ol’ Nevah caught a similar summer cold, most likely from me, that didn’t have such severe symptoms, but wuz not fun regardless.
Naturally, I tried a local Tennessee doctor and the prescribed medication made me lightheaded and slightly nauseous — so I quit taking them.
I’ll quit complaining now and just say the trip wuz still fun. The granddaughter graduated successfully as one of the top scholars of her class. The entire Tennessee clan gathered for a couple of days together.
Nevah and I left for home a day early and made the 1,000-mile trip in two days. After we arrived home, we both started to improve. I think I’m proving once again the wisdom of my ol’ daddy, Czar E. Yield, who insisted that a cold properly medicated and cared for would last about two weeks, while a cold that you ignored and just let it run its course would go away in about 14 days.
On the last day of May, we’re living in conundrum here at Damphewmore Acres. It looks like a Garden of Eden (with lots of weeds) on the surface, but we’re actually still in a severe drought. In the last two weeks, we’ve had almost 3 inches of rain, with not a single rain providing a drop of runoff. As a consequence, the new corn and soybeans are booming in growth and the gardens, lawns and pastures are sparkling green. However, dig down a foot and it’s bone dry and many of the ponds and watersheds keep going down.
I wuz complaining about my pond going dry when one of my wise-acre neighbors wise-cracked, “Milo, a pond is never dry until it’s empty. Until then, it’s always a full pond, just a smaller one every day.” Thinking about it, I guess he’s right.
One of the little showers wuz accompanied with a big wind strong enuf that it just plain busted my aluminum flag pole in half — snapped it off about 5 feet above the ground and desecrated Old Glory during the Memorial Day holiday. I’ll have to get it fixed soon.
My buddy Willie Jay from Mt. Vernon, Mo., dredged up this old, supposedly true, story from his 84-year-old mind:
“Milo, as you know in the distant past when a friend or neighbor died, the neighbors all showed up and dug the grave for the dearly departed. They generally had a water jug wrapped in a burlap sack in the old wooden sycamore box with a 25-pound block of ice, a case of beer and a gallon of real moonshine. In later years, it was Wild Turkey, Old Grandad, Jack Daniels and apricot or peach brandy. The 3 x 6 x 6 grave diggin’ went on with a manual back hoe (pick and shovel), everybody was laughing and telling stories about the deceased. There were always plenty of volunteer grave diggers and all had a good time doing a good deed.
“Back to what brought this story on. A few years ago a couple of the neighbors drove by the grave yard and saw ol’ Billy W. (He was always at the grave diggings and liked the cold beer and refreshing drinks) digging a grave all by himself. So, they stopped and ask, ‘Who died Billy? Who is the grave for?’
“Billy was well on his way to Cloud Nine from his personal refreshments and about 5-feet down in the grave, when he answered, ‘It’s my own, dammit. I don’t want a bunch of drunks diggin’ my grave.’
“One neighbor looked at the other and asked, ‘Reckon we ought to help him out of that hole now or come back later?’”
Until next week, remember that life is much funnier if you live it with a dirty mind. Have a good ‘un.
American Farmland Trust’s Farms Under Threat research has found that land used to produce food in the U.S. is increasingly being used to grow cities and residential areas.
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