Well, it seems like forever since I last posted. In the meantime, I have gotten a new job, two kids have gone off to college, and three seasons have come and gone. Most importantly, perhaps, lots of lessons have been learned.
I learned not to accept the status quo, and not be afraid of change.
I learned that all the best plans are not devoid of danger.
I learned that you shouldn’t order turkey poults until their shelters are all set.
I learned that some predators kill apparently just for the fun of it.
I learned that accepting gifts from others gives the giver enormous pleasure; so, by accepting a gift or offer of help is usually the nicest way to handle this situation rather than not accepting the gift. Just accept and be grateful!
I learned that I really do like getting up early, but it is nice to sleep in sometimes.
I learned that there are limited hours in a day, and it is imperative to set limits to preserve your sanity.
I learned that it is important to forgive yourself.
I learned it is important to forgive others.
I learned that people can really change.
I learned that life is fleeting, and it is sad to see parents age.
I learned that you should tell your family members that you love them at every opportunity.
I learned that perseverance is very, very important, but sometimes it is prudent to change course.
I learned that we can always learn something from others, even from kids and the elderly.
I learned that blue, plug-in, heated dog bowls make watering chickens in the winter much easier.
I learned that it is important not to make snap judgments about people, and that first impressions are often inaccurate.
I learned that when you think you may have a handle on the agricultural commodity markets, you don’t.
I learned not to sweat over the little things.
I learned to be more open minded and compassionate (I hope).
I learned to be truly grateful for the time I have with those I love, even if the moment is not eventful or even if I am getting annoyed.
I learned from my wife that, just maybe, if Jesus may come again, He probably would be one of those people standing on a corner with a sign, asking for money. And giving a couple dollars to him may mean much more than driving through Dairy Queen for a Blizzard later on.
I learned that mental illness is awful, and people sometimes can’t really control all the things they say or do.
I learned that a simple act of kindness can change someone’s life.
I learned that it can be very difficult to visit the feed store during Chick Days and not leave without a box full of chirping chicks!
I learned that you really should try to go to bed when your better half does.
I learned that your kids need you, no matter how old they get, and vice versa.
I learned that I may legitimately be addicted to my tablet and smart phone. But, most other people probably are, too.
I learned that unseasonably cold, December days are nicer in Panama City Beach, Florida, than unseasonably, cold days in Illinois.
But, after a week, I want to go home anyway. And the animals still need to be fed.
I learned that change is good. Sometimes.
I learned that if you don’t go to church as often as you probably should, your kids really do miss it, even if they don’t say it out loud.
I learned that I should find the time to post on my blog more frequently.
I learned that different cover crops are used for different purposes, and you should first figure our what you what to accomplish (e.g., improving nitrogen, protecting against erosion, increasing organic matter, reducing weeds) before selecting what to plant.
I learned that there is no difference between loving your biological or step children.
I learned that I try to do too many different things. But, I can’t stop, so too bad.
I learned that there are lots of kids (and others) who could use more love.
I learned that it is a good idea to get as much ready as possible in anticipation for spring field work during the fall and winter.
I came to realize that intolerance and hate seems to be more pervasive now that when I was a kid.
I came to realize that I really am important to those who love me.
I learned that my OCD is useful sometimes.
I learned that most people are blessed if they have 2 or 3 REAL friends throughout their lives, and most never do.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I learned that the true secret to happiness in life comes from surrounding yourself with truly nurturing, positive, supporting, and loving relationships throughout your life; to work hard to keep those relationships alive; and, to be strong enough to walk away from harmful relationships that tear you down.