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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Aug 27, 2010

The class reunion that I had appointed myself to be in charge of has been held and everyone who attended has moved on to life’s next events.

It was a good evening, no, make that a very good evening.

It was probably typical of most class reunions. Some whom attended made the trip coming from great distances and some whom did not attend that lived within an easy driving distance.

There were some whom I was sure would be there that did not attend.

They may have had a schedule conflict, thinking ahead to the 50th reunion in five years and saying they will attend that one.

My wife and I noticed an attitude of appreciation that was very present that evening when each class member took a few minutes to stand in front of the group and talk about themselves.

All of us seemed to recognize that to be together again 45 years after high school graduation night was a privilege.

At age 63, we had something in common with that night 45 years ago when we were 18. It was an in between time.

Forty-five years ago, we were finished with one part of our lives and preparing to move to the next. High school was completed with more education or careers in front of us.

For the male class members the military draft may have trumped any other plans, especially if you were not going to college.

Forty-five years later, we are looking back at our jobs and thinking ahead to the years of retirement. We are at that in-between time of working and retirement.

It ranged from those who said they had quit completely to a few who still enjoyed their occupation and were not ready to quit.

I listened to those who had adjusted to ending their working career, but that did not mean they were sitting idle.

They were still active working part-time at jobs they enjoyed and, as much as anything, knowing they were working as much or as little as they wanted.

Family duties seemed to have a bigger importance.

I listened to a few who were working and had no intention of quitting yet. Their jobs were satisfying and the duties of each day were fulfilling.

It was as if they were saying it has taken me a long time to get to where I am and I am not ready to give it up yet.

They had to get off to work each day because someone was depending on them to show up for work. They saw themselves as part of a bigger picture.

I see myself with one foot in each place. I like where I am now and do not want to give up those duties that I enjoy such as tractor or combine driving; watching the grain markets to decide when is a good time to sell another part of a crop.

At the same time, I like the idea of turning over much of the day-to-day jobs to someone who wants to be on top of things while making those longer-term decisions such as machinery purchases.

Actually, my 33-year-old son, I believe, would prefer to have me turn the place over to him and when, or if, he needs me, he will let me know.

Forty-five years ago, I was making my choice in the job market and forty-five years later, I wonder about leaving the job I chose.

It is actually a good place to be at and that is why it is a time to be grateful.

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

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