Good Bye in Four Acts


I always liked the song, “A Bad Goodbye” as it was so sad yet described the end of a relationship so well. It gave me the idea for this week’s column in that I wanted to present a good bye/buy in four acts.




Act 1: Bye Shannon


Shannon Converse has been our cycling instructor at the clinic since January. She has lead our little group up imaginary hills and through thick mud provided as we turn the tension up on our stationary cycles. Shannon has decided to move on so I wanted to tell her thank-you for my improved physical health and her energetic inspiration. We always cycle to music and as a result of my time with Shannon, there is certain music which I will never be able again listen to without hearing an imaginary, crazy, happy hyper voice commanding me to “sprint, sprint! SPRINT!” Thank-you and good luck from all of us, Shannon.



Act 2: Bye Cattle


I could compose this point into eight words but I want to enjoy it a bit longer. I typically keep the cattle well into fall and usually on pasture until December. Decreasing corn prices have made the cattle prices pop just a bit as feedlots can afford more cattle when the corn they fed them costs less. I like having cattle around here but they are more than pets, they are walking, mooing money. Our droughty weather has shortened the pasture and although I still have about a month of pasture left, the game is up. It is time to fold my cards, put out my cigar, finish my drink, grab a sandwich and go home. I always miss the cattle when they’re gone but it is the nature of all relationships that there is a beginning and an ending. I will welcome a new group next year and all the possibilities contained within these furry, cloven-hooved, four-stomached miracles.


Act 3: A Good Buy


I like collecting things and restoring them during the winter. I have collected little since I sold-off my John Deere snowmobiles and needed to try something new. I purchased an old walk-behind tractor recently and provided I have no breakdowns along the road, it should be in my shop as you read this column. A walk-behind tractor looks like a walk-behind tiller only you can attach cultivators, a plow or even a blade to the power unit. It is also typically heavy-built and quite powerful. To most, my old walk-behind tractor would appear as mobile rust however I see it as a time-eating enjoyment machine. I have never owned one before but they appear fairly simple so I thought I’d give this one a try over the winter. Perhaps if I repeat this process often enough, I will one day be one of those old gomers in bib overalls who travel from place to place with my own antique tractor display.

This is my new walk-behind tractor.
My new walk-behind tractor, I guess new is a relative term in this case.


Act 4: Week 10 (Bye)


I recently involved myself in a Fantasy Football league. This past Monday was draft night and the hand of God intervened as we lost power at our house which prevented my active participation in the draft. There is an auto-draft function on the website so a computer dispassionately (and quite accurately) picked a team for me. A bye is one week in a season in which you do not play. Week ten will be my (bye) week which is unfortunate if my team is doing poorly and really unfortunate if they are doing well.


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