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By Staff | Dec 26, 2014

This may be a joke you have already heard, but it fits with what I want to say.

As a Norwegian, I can tell an Ole and Lena joke without seeming like I am mocking anyone.

Ole and Lena were celebrating their 50th anniversary and at the end of the day, Lena said to Ole, “You told me you loved me the day we were married 50 years ago and then I never heard you say it again. Why?”

“Well, Lena,” said Ole, “if I had changed my mind, I would have told you.”

There are two things a person can say about this joke.

The first one is that we Norwegians can laugh at ourselves and the second is there is an element of truth in this as we Norwegians are not known as being overly demonstrative in expressing our emotions.

Each year at this time, I want to tell everyone reading this of something that needs to be said.

It is one of those sentiments that needs to be expressed even if it seems like everyone knows it.

The sentiment I want to tell anyone reading is, “Thank you.”

Television productions need viewers. Radio broadcasts need listeners. Writers need readers.

Thank you for being a reader.

Occasionally, I will get a message or letter from a reader telling me about something I wrote that struck them so strongly they wanted to tell me their own response. I value those messages because some idea or thoughts I had resonated to another person so much it caused them to take action at the computer keyboard or with pen and paper.

I believe I can safely assume there were others who also liked (maybe disliked) what I wrote so much they had a family member or friend read it and then they talked about it.

So, thank you for giving me a few minutes of your time and allowing me to become part of your thoughts. I consider it a privilege and a honor.

I pick the last column of each year to express my appreciation to everyone who reads my thoughts, whether they agree with me or not. This is not something I went to school for. I was fortunate to have editors encourage me along the way since those early attempts more than 15 years ago.

While I hope any readers will enjoy what I write, this weekly assignment also benefits me as I have to sit quietly, searching for a subject and then attempting to put everything in a clear and cohesive manner so that the reader can understand what I am attempting to get across.

Some weeks go better than others. There are weeks when I have the thoughts I need just waiting to be put on my computer screen.

Then there are other weeks when I wonder where to begin, but a couple hours later when I am finished, I wonder, “Where did that come from?”

Seeing my thoughts arranged on a computer screen and staring back at me has given me moments of insight about myself when I become the reader.

There is a dance between the writer and the reader; the writer leads and the reader follows, but they perform as a couple.

Each is incomplete without the other.

So, thank you for being the other half of our dance.

And I am trying to do better than Ole.

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

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