Letter to Dave

barnDear Dave,

There are always invited guests looking over our shoulders when I write this letter. I want to let them know that our cat Twitch is much better. I wrote of his diabetes last week and I know there have been readers who wanted an update on his health. Twitch has right now positioned himself in such a way so that when I type, my left hand occasionally rubs his head. He has gained weight noticeably and walks with much more stability. He is eating well and has resigned himself to the fact that he will be indoors, full-time, until next spring. It is just easier to regulate his blood glucose when he stays indoors, Dave. Twitch is alive and doing well, on the couch with his brother, sister and me.

You and I both lived through the farm crisis, Dave. The dynamics of that sad financial and cultural event remind me much of what has occurred the last decade. We started with high commodity prices, lots of machinery purchases and new farmers taking on high debt to purchase sometimes marginal land. Earl Butz told farmers in the seventies to farm “fence-row to fence-row” which today has become farming from right of way to right of way. I see large land holders are now selling their holdings and a popular subject in farm magazines involves how to renegotiate your rental contracts. In the seventies, the final blow was increasing interest rates which swamped farmers as they tried to consolidate their loans. I hope we can avoid the tragedies of those times.

The refrigerator tells a lot, Dave. When I walk into someone’s home, I always check the fridge for pictures. It is the homeowner’s billboard. I was looking at our fridge the other day and noticed the nice letter I had received from your wife, Mary. The letter included a card that gave me a pat on the back for my recent conservation award. Pease tell her thank-you. I also noticed an old picture of me as a little boy. I am standing at the water tank watching the Holsteins get a drink of water on a summer day. It’s funny but people never really change. We might change our habits or discipline ourselves but what we are as children seems only to amplify over time. If I could caption that picture of me watching the Holstein cows slake their thirst, the caption would read “having a drink with friends.” I still consider cattle among my best friends and I still occasionally like something cold at the end of the day. Lisa is waiting for me now and it is the end of the day so I think I will go embrace the child from that picture who still exists in me.
Tell everyone hello, you’re little bro’

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