Letter to Dave

Dear Dave,

I may have removed the straw too soon from the septic tank and drain field as spring recently weakend, fall opened the door and winter returned for a day. Our snow was not as intense nor did it accumulate like it did in Carrington, North Dakota however it was unpleasant.

Drain field straw removal is only part of spring around here, Dave. This spring there was enough snow melt to make the Black River come out of its’ boundaries for a little bit. This brought a lot of last falls straw from the harvest downriver to us. A small percentage of that straw is now hanging on the fence. Wet, fence-line straw removal is one of my least favorite jobs, one which I have not had to perform for several years. Surprisingly, this does not fill me with nostalgia- which is my usual reaction to personal-history revisitation- rather I check the medicine cabinet for Ibuprofen, my drug of choice.

Spring is always a drop-shipment of maintenance for me, Dave. I use synthetic oil in everything now so I don’t change oil as often but everything gets a new oil filter, air filter and a shot of grease. Spring used to mean purchasing new batteries for everything too however my use of battery maintainers has put an end to this rite of spring. A lot of what I do around here is just cleaning; cleaning the branches from the yard, cleaning up equipment and cleaning up wasted bed food, Actually, there is no such thing as wasted bird food as grackles arrive in force to clean up.

No farming going on out here, Dave. I haven’t even see a fertilizer floater on the highway this week. I suspect this cold ,wet weather is making anxiety a constant companion to most farmers. It’s not fun to add this additional stress to a group that is already under a lot of pressure. The truth is, given 7-10 days of good planting, most spring work will be done and have enough growing season to make it all work.

We spoke last week during our Facebook program, Dave and you said farmers in the Carrington area were planting small grains just ahead of a pretty sizable snow storm. I suspect the snow is already melted by now and adding to your subsoil moisture-you are so lucky.

Work has been busy around here, Dave. I think the week-ends are almost as busy as the weekdays. I like the diverse tasks though as I can go from working on equipment, to editing videos to being on-air with you, all in one day. I don’t like boredom and I haven’t seen much of it for a long time.

I hope all is well with you, Dave. I will be thinking of you as you work your way through another busy spring.

Your little bro’

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