Letter to Dave


Dear Dave,


As I age, I often hear warnings about the process of becoming old; today, I experienced a tangible act of that process. After arriving downstairs, I am often crowded by our cats who crave attention-they are like feline paparazzi. As I weaved my way through the loom of our cats, my knee popped. It was pretty loud and my first thought was that perhaps the noise would scare off the cats long enough to open a pathway to the kitchen and coffee. Honestly, I have only found life to get better with age. I base my decisions more often on fact instead of fantasy or prejudice. I always remind myself when I am performing hard work that 47 year-old Grant is doing this for the 65 year-old version of myself. I have dug enough corner fence posts so that I shouldn’t need a post hole digger again unless I live to be a hundred so at least that is done. Anyway, brother of mine, I do not plan to go quiet into that good night.


I recently spent a week-end with Bryan Steiger doing some work on my Massey tractor. Bryan Steiger has the genetics and life experience to build anything (maybe even a tractor?) so it was fun to hand him tools and sweep the floor while he did his magic. The whole experience was a little like taking batting practice with Mickey Mantle and not unlike working with you, Dave. I was amazed with Bryan’s patience with my version of “help” and I only almost tipped the tractor on top of him once. It was a good week-end, Dave.


The late Lyle Bjelland once told me that the more you work on a tractor, the more you own it. I found the statement true as a person becomes more involved in anything, or anyone, in which they invest time. I really liked Lyle however he sold Belarus tractors so maybe he had no choice but to become more involved and invested in those wonderful, leaky beasts.


I haven’t told you about any projects, Dave. This one was part construction, part arts and crafts. Lisa and I had watched too many DIY morning shows and decided we should try some more “shabby chic.” I removed a sliding door from the old grainery we use for a garage and sheeted in the open space. I then carried the door into the house and mounted it on an interior wall using the sliding door rail. Carrying the door was similar to moving a sheet of plywood only (quite) a bit heavier. I would like to report that we were able to manipulate the door through our home with no damage to either sheet rock, cats or humans. I did use up January’s allotment of curse words during the process however Lisa and I were both happy with the result of all the effort and profanity.

This is the barn door we hung on the wall. The painting is an original from my mother in-law, Jeanette Walseth.


I didn’t talk about the weather this letter, Dave. It is the elephant in the room of which no one dare speak. It is quite clear that we are deep in a dry spell and will need more than just some snow to turn around that situation for the farmers. Ah, but I said I wasn’t going to talk about the weather, didn’t I? Tell the Carrington Nelsons hello for me, Dave.


You’re little bro’

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