March 2019 - 34

The seasons are in the eye of the beholder
President & CEO
National Council of
Agricultural Employers
Looking out my office window here in
Washington, D.C., I observe that most of
the snow from the weekend's storm still
lingers in shaded areas. It's interesting,
from this Wyoming boy's perspective,
how 8 inches of snow snarls this city to a
halt. Heck, it's almost paralyzed if a half
inch of snow hits the ground! Paralysis
by Mother Nature instead of politicians.
And, no one knows how to drive!
It's also interesting to me how people
raised in this area consider temperatures
less than 40 degrees to be terribly cold!
I recall, as a kid, the weeks after
Christmas when my dad would run the
hose in the backyard, and the temperature
dropped at night to almost 20 below. The
water would freeze and spread across
the backyard and, with subsequent
irrigations, spread even further.
If we were lucky, a flurry would dust
the ice just enough so that the next
morning my brother and I could scoop
circuitous paths across the ice (he was
my younger brother, so he did require my
critical supervision). That chore being
complete, we'd get on the telephone and
call the neighbor kids to grab their skates
and come over because it was warming
up, and we'd soon be at 5 degrees.
What followed was pure joy! Flashing
(or so we thought), around the icy paths
at a furious pace in game after game of
fox and geese, pausing only for cups of
hot chocolate. Then, back at it again even
though the daytime temperature only
got up to 10.
If we were lucky, the wind would come
up over the next night and blow the snow
off the ice. This set the stage for hockey
matches the next morning. Hockey sticks
and pucks were not to be had. However,
a gnarled cottonwood branch and a rock
always did the trick.
Those days were a lot of fun! As I look
back across the years and the 1,500 miles
or so there was something else involved
in all that cold and expenditure of energy.
We knew the ice wouldn't last forever. In
fact, underneath the ice and snow and
wind and cold lay something else.
That something else was the promise
of spring.
Growing up in a rural community,
you're very tied to the seasons. You see
the buds on the trees starting to push
and see the winter wheat sprouting up
through the snow. The farmers fuss about
getting equipment ready, anxious for the
ground to thaw and dry up enough to get
out in the field.
You felt the days growing longer and it
wasn't quite as dark walking home after
basketball practice. And then, the farmer
firing up his tractor across the street
roused you from sleep because he'd had
his coffee and he was ready to go. It was
better than any alarm clock.
As the days warmed, the pace in the
community picked up and the energy of
my neighbors did too. The hills greened
from the winter's moisture and neat
symmetrical rows filled the fields after
plowing, disking and floating, as seed was
put in the soil. Winter was being shaken
off and, with care and nurture, lush crops
would burst forth.
And so, as I look out my office
window, I smile. Where my colleagues
might see white icy drifts giving way
to sloppy, slushy muck, and for them a
feeling of brutal, bitter cold. I see and feel
something else.
Spring is always a promise kept. And,
it's on its way. VGN
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34 |

March 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March 2019

March 2019 - 1
March 2019 - 2
March 2019 - 3
March 2019 - 4
March 2019 - 5
March 2019 - 6
March 2019 - 7
March 2019 - 8
March 2019 - 9
March 2019 - 10
March 2019 - 11
March 2019 - 12
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March 2019 - 34
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March 2019 - 40