A Danie Day II

“I had a Danie day,” this is a phrase that sounds innocent and maybe
even enjoyable. However, I am like the little boy who sees dead people
in the movie, “the Sixth Sense” in that I know the truth. Today I
have the far-off look of a man who’s seen too much; today I
had a “Danie Day.”

Danie Packard is my farm business management instructor through the Thief River Falls (Minnesota) Technical College and a wonderful guy. He
does the work of an interpreter as he takes the story of our farm and
translates it into a language which is international, the language of
numbers and totals. Danie takes all of my book work and condenses it
into a report which explains where we spend money and earn money on our
little farm. I would be unable to be innovative and creative without
Danie to explain my method to those who finance me. Danie is
important to me and a very talented person.

Okay, that was the disclaimer, gird your loins Packard-here it comes.
Sisyphus was a King in Greek mythology condemned to roll a mammoth
boulder up a hill, only to see it roll back down after each effort.
Sisyphus had to do this for all eternity. This is similar to a day
spent gathering financial information and completing my taxes with
Danie; it is a “Danie Day.”
It is painful, you fail just at the point of success and it lasts
eternally. I always arrive confident that my ducks are correctly
arranged. Under constant questioning, my confidence dissolves
as I forget data such as the last four digits of my social security
number and even my own middle name. It’s just that my understanding
of our farm is very concrete and real whereas putting it on paper is
very abstract. I have even felt a little sorry for myself after a
good, thorough “Danie Day;” after which, I will sometimes watch a
movie such as,
“the Grapes of Wrath,” just to remind me how good I really have it.

About noon we broke for lunch. I noticed my hands were shaking and
very nearly vibrated the contents of my sandwich onto the tray in
front of me. It was obvious that my nervous system was under a great
deal of stress. I called Lisa and got a little dose of her calm,
soothing voice which helped. There is no aspect of what I do on our
farm that is nearly as painfully boring or stressful as documenting
the act in Danie’s little office of pain. If one day of my year has
to be spent there being waterboarded with paper work, then the only
way to make up for it is that all of the rest of the days of the year
must be Christmas; complete with an endless supply of Kolache and
chocolate beer. It is the only just remedy of which I can think.

We eventually reached a completed stack of paperwork three inches
high as I felt the animation drain from my body. As I drove home, I
could see the multiple colors of the setting sun as they refracted
through the tears of my exhaustion. My shoulders ached and the inner
workings of my body were the consistency of old concrete. I had just
experienced, a “Danie Day.”

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