Monday, August 08, 2005

Withering Away

My parents are now back from their vacation, which means my long ass commutes from their place to work are now over. I don’t know how I put up with that for over a year. I must have been absolutely nuts to waste an hour and a half of every day sitting in my car burning up expensive gas (which is up to $2.39 for the cheapest stuff here in MN).

It was nice being home again for a bit, even though I was totally by myself… well, except for the four house animals following me everywhere begging for attention. Sleeping was pretty interesting as Karma, our Jack Russell Terrier would sleep on my feet. Mystique, my mom’s cat, would sleep at my waist. Stitch, mine and Kristin’s cat would sleep on the top of the couch. Lastly, Sammy, the family cat, would sleep on the floor next to me. What made this setup suck was that whenever the pets would move around or fight or play it would be right next to me or on the couch where I was sleeping so some nights I didn’t get very much rest at all.

While at home, I took advantage of the ability to run on flat land again. I’m still not fully adjusted to the ups and downs of the hills here in the addition of Rochester that I live in. As the week went on, I ran the same three mile route every day, being the big proponent of not changing that I am. Even though my route never changed, the scenery was in a constant state of change.

Every day I ran by the same corn field and every day the corn was a little more brown and a little less green. Usually this wouldn’t bother me except for the fact that this was my dad’s field. Since we’ve been experiencing what it’s like to live in the Sahara over the last couple of weeks, the crops haven’t been doing all that great, and when the crops don’t do that great, the farm really can’t make any money.

I really take for granted the fact that I get a paycheck twice a month with the exact same amount of money in it. I can budget my spending out and manage my finances with ease, even when I spend a little too much on video games or eating out. With a farm, you can’t do that. Your income is determined at harvest time when you bring in what you’ve grown for the year.

Sure, modern farmers (my dad being one of them) have found ways to stretch money from bumper years across years that don’t fare as well, such as by holding on to extra grain in good years and buying the next year’s seed or chemicals during a good year, but in the end when a bad year comes along things still get tight.

With no strong chances of rain in the near future, this could be shaping up to be one of those tough years. I really don’t want to see that happen, but I can’t really control the weather now can I? So all of you out there who have a steady income, consider yourselves lucky. I often forget to myself, but looking at the crops and how they’re starting to falter really hammers home how lucky I have it.

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