My wife asked a question I have heard her ask before.
“Where does the time go?”
She said this after realizing that some tasks she wanted to get done were not being completed as fast as she wanted and time was getting in short supply.
I recently figured out that when she talks like this, she is not asking a question as much as she is thinking out loud and she is not looking for any response from me.
Therefore, I keep quiet.
However, it is a question worth asking, even when there is no answer.
She was asking the question as a result of how her day was going.
I ask the question because this is the 10th month of the year and I am wondering where the year went.
Three-fourths of the year is behind us and I am willing to bet the remaining quarter of the year goes by quickly.
Those seeds that were planted last spring are being harvested; harvested because they are ready for harvest and winter is coming.
I have my official end of summer tasks in front of me.
Mow the lawn one last time, dig up the potatoes from the garden, and put the garden hoses in the garage.
It is the garden hoses that have the greatest significance as they bring an end to watering flowers and plants, filling the grandchildren’s wading pool, and providing water for anything needing a wash or rinse from garden
tools to the car.
It is the time to prepare for the hunkering down of winter.
Storm windows come down, outdoor furniture and toys are brought inside to the garage or basement, and an extra blanket appears on the bed.
The LP tank is filled, the furnace filter is inspected or replaced, and the thermostat is moved from cool to heat.
Then there are the corn and soybean fields that are emptied quickly and seemingly with little effort, although we know better.
Then, once the fields are harvested, fertilizer spreaders and anhydrous applicators appear because there will be an end to winter when thoughts of spring will fill our minds and our plans.
Maybe we will be so fortunate to observe that winter went by quickly, but I doubt it.
Thanksgiving and Christmas help make the days go quickly, but after January first, it’s a long stretch until spring.
Winter will be finally done when I once again reattach the garden hoses.
Then the garden gets tilled, tractors come out of their winter hibernation and another year of planting and harvesting begins.
We watch crops, children and grandchildren grow and mature.
The changes are subtle, but there is no mistaking the progress with the advancing time.
Occasionally, the time goes by slowly, but usually the time goes by so quickly, we are caught by surprise in its passing.
Events that were in the future have come, gone, and are disappearing into the past.
Those events serve as benchmarks in our journey.
My wife observes time in hours; I observe time in months. We both wonder, “Where does the time go?”
Neither of us has an answer.
We do know that whether it is time or money, we could use more of both.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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