Here it is a new year again. The older you get the faster time goes. It seems to me, as soon as you get through going to school, time just takes off and goes faster the older you get.

I hope this new year is better than the one we just finished. It was so dry where we live in our little town and short of water that in order to confirm new members the Methodist were using a damp cloth, the Baptists were sprinkling and the Catholics were dry cleaning. At our church we were just taking them dirty. Now that’s dry.

This is only the second year since our family started dairying in 1948 that we did not raise enough feed for the cows. That other year was 1980 and then a neighbor had some corn that was not going to make much grain corn because of the drought, so we bought it to cut for silage and put it in the silo. That neighbor has since died, so I don’t know what we are going to do this year.

It has been dry other years throughout history and people made it some way. I remember when I was in college my roommate told me the drought back at his home was so bad at that time that he got a letter from his Dad and the stamp was fastened on with a paper clip.

I wonder what it would be like to live in town and not really care about the weather. I hear these town folks say they care about the weather, and I bet if it really does not affect your income, it would not be as concerning as it is to people that live on the farm.


When you stop and think about it, not being affected by the weather is really a new thing in the history of mankind. In my lifetime, we have gone from living out of our garden to living out of our super Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart can get the produce and other food they sell from our country if that is the cheapest place, or they can get it in some other part of the world at a great price. I was told catfish sold in many restaurants in our country is now being raised in China. What is this world coming to?

I have heard it said a dry year would scare you to death, but a wet year will kill you. As dry as we have been, it will take a few wet ones to get us back to “normal.” Whatever that is? I can remember some wet years. I had an uncle that was a traveling salesman, and he told me about being over in the eastern part of the state one time, and he got caught in a torrential storm.

He stopped overnight at a farmhouse. In the morning he looked out and saw a flood tearing through the front yard and an old straw hat went floating past in the current. Then he saw the straw hat coming back, this time moving upstream past the house. Then he saw it go downstream again. Pretty soon it came back upstream. By now, my uncle said he began to wonder if he had gone crazy. Finally, he said he called the farmer’s daughter over.

“Oh,” said the young girl as she looked out the window, “that must be Granddad. He said yesterday that in spite of hell or high water, he was going to mow the lawn today.”

We have dry years and wet years, and once in awhile we have a year that is just right, but not often. A lot of how we react to life is in how we observed our parents react to their challenges.

My father liked to tell the story about these three men who died and were cremated. One was from Nebraska, one from Iowa and one from Oklahoma. The Nebraska man died first and when his ashes were removed, they were put into a quart jar. The Iowa man went next. His ashes were put into a pint jar. The Oklahoma man was last. At the end of 15 hours the furnace door was opened and out walked this Okie, mopping his face with his handkerchief and saying, “Boss, if we get two more days of this hot weather, it’ll ruin the entire wheat crop.”

Let me close this month with a prayer inscribed on a cathedral wall some 250 years ago:

Give me a sense of Humor, Lord,
Give me the Grace to see a joke,
To get some Happiness from life,
And Pass it on to other folk.

May God bless us all in the new year and comfort us through our struggles as He inspires us to do His will. Happy New Year! PD