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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Nov 5, 2009

It was Monday and I was driving to a local bank to pay my quarterly estimates for my income tax. This job puts me in a bad mood as writing that check reminds me of the bite the government takes from my income.

The politicians continue to spend money they do not have which tells me that the government’s tax bite is going to get bigger when I believe it is already too big. Usually I fume about this for a couple days.

My bad mood already had a good start with the delayed harvest. The month of October had us combining one day and sitting still a week or more waiting for our next single day.

Adding to my misery was that my doctor had me scheduled for a colonoscopy Wednesday morning. I went through this two years ago so I knew it is not the procedure that is so bad, but the preparation the day before. Tuesday evening was going to be an uncomfortable time, as I have to drink a gallon of liquid and suffer the inevitable “cleansing ceremony.”

That was my Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after a lousy October. The only good news was Monday’s clear sunny sky, the first in over a week. It helped, but not a lot.

Driving to the bank, I approached a T-intersection where I needed to stop. I had been following a pickup pulling a grain vacuum for a couple miles and as we slowed down, I could see a wrecker parked at the intersection. Getting closer to the intersection, I saw a pair of wheels on the side of the road from a truck. It was the dual wheels, tires, rims and all, but nothing else.

“Oh, oh, this can not be good,” I thought as I prepared myself to see an accident where a truck and another vehicle had collided ripping the tandem wheels off the truck. That would explain the parked wrecker.

Approaching the stop sign, I could see what happened. A single-axle truck loaded with corn was sitting in the lane going to the elevator and the left rear dual wheels had broken off, sitting behind the truck by about 100 feet. The wrecker was going to move the truck and the grain vacuum in front of me had to unload it first.

Seeing it was a single vehicle accident with no injuries was a relief. I made my left turn and drove slowly past the loaded truck sitting with a twist as the rear axle was missing the left set of wheels.

I made the stop at the bank and told the tellers about my awful week following a bad month while I wrote my check. They were sympathetic which helped.

I headed for home and drove past the disabled truck where they had the grain vacuum ready to load a semi. I could see a clearly uncomfortable farmer who thought he was going to be back home by now with an empty truck.

After driving a couple miles, I thought maybe I should have stopped and offered him some sympathy for his situation. I could have said, “I see both you and I are having rear end problems this week.”

I hope by now you are smiling. My point to this story, where you have learned more about my health than you wanted or needed to know, is that one of the best tools in troubling times is a sense of humor.

It has been a tough harvest and we have a long ways to go. There will be combines operating on Thanksgiving Day, weather permitting, when most years they are sitting in a shed with their fall work completed. It is going to be that kind of year and we will get the job done.

In the meantime, do not forget to smile and take some time to look for the humor around you. It is there, some days it is more difficult to see it than other days.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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