Letter to Dave


Dear Dave,

We spoke this week and you reported about 41 degrees and slight snow
cover in Carrington, North Dakota. I would say we are a bit less and
a bit more, respectively. Dad said the last time we had this type of
winter was in 1943; it was worth the wait for a repeat. We passed through an un-white Christmas without notice and now the cupids of Valentine’s Day may not need parkas.

I know you are busy assembling farm equipment at Erickson Implement in preparation for
spring planting. Good commodity prices mean that farmers not only
have some money to buy new equipment but it also means they need to
have the kind of equipment that can plant, spray and harvest the crop
in a timely manner. Better, more timely practices mean more bushels and more profits. Ten years ago people were not in a great hurry to spray expensive chemical on $2 corn-now the chemical for Round-up ready corn is an investment with a very short payback.


I have been more relaxed this winter as we’ve had little snow to plow
and our cattle need less hay brought to them when the weather is
warm. Freezing temperatures bring about increased need for
hay and it just gets worse the lower it goes. I purchased some hay
bales that received rain from our neighbor, Tom Scholin, and am using
them to bed for the cattle. Straw bales seem a rare commodity as
today’s combines chop the wheat stalks so completely as to make them
almost impossible to bale and so I use hay then top dress it with a little straw
to make it look nice.

I do have a few projects on the docket. I have removed all of the
shelving from the garage which once housed all of my old John Deere
snowmobiles. The sleds are gone and now so are the heavy shelves
which once held them. I have covered the walls with peg board to the
point that I no longer have any more stuff to hang from the walls. I
guess I thought the peg board looked nice AND overdid it just a bit.

I am also installing a filter to remove fibers from our
washing machine before they get discharged into our drain field.
Apparently, many of the fibers lost from our clothing during washing
end up in the drain field, do not break down and therefore create
a mat. It is just this sort of illegitimate carpet that ruins drain
fields and so we will now filter the washing machine’s gray water
prior to release. As is typical, nothing gets me excited like plumbing waste water; I guess I am still that little kid digging ditches so the excess water from the corn silo could run into the pasture.


I hope all is well in Carrington, Dave. I also hope that our good fortune of little snow ends prior to this summer or we are going to rightly call it a drought. It will be at that time that I will become nostalgic for a white Christmas-at least for the moisture.


You’re little bro’


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