Saturday, June 18, 2011

Not near enough

Sabbath day, June 18, 2011

Outside my door the wind blows hot, like the exhaust off of Satan’s nostrils.

Irrigation pivots, which have run incessantly over the last month, now sit idle due to a busted gear box on a center pivot.

The word is out: I still have hay left over from last year’s rain. The trickle of calls turns into a flood. I need a cash flow, but my ass begins to pucker as the size of the haystack diminishes. I can feed hay to my animals. Dollars may or may not be much good in the future, depending on whose forecast you believe. To be sure, I need dollars to pay my bills today. The guys that work for me have families and they need money to pay their bills. Today.

So I continue to sell hay. I suppose I could raise the price to discourage sales, but the people that buy my hay don’t have much money.

The weatherman says we have a chance for rain next week. We’ve had chances for rain. A forty per-cent chance for rain means a sixty per-cent chance against rain. In a non-drought year, you get rain with forty per-cent chances. In a drought, most times you don’t. We have had only a single inch of precipitation since February.

Cattle prices have held, but I suspect that will soon change as ranchers are forced, once again, for the third time since 2005, to cull or liquidate herds.

I hear stories of world-wide turmoil. The folks that got rid of Mubarak in Egypt now rail against his successor. There’s no more food or oil to be had. No matter how much money you inject into the economy, that equation remains the same. Not enough remains not enough.

Libyans continue to fight. There’s new unrest in Iraq. Riots in Greece. Syria. China.

The Missouri River surrounds a nuclear power plant in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska and the river is forecast to rise another five feet—if a damn doesn’t burst first and wash the whole goddamned thing away. But don’t worry—there’s nothing to fear—government officials assure us.

Meanwhile the news speaks of Caylee Anderson, dead since 2008. Or which politician fucked what whore. The last son-of-a-bitch on the hot seat didn’t even get his dick wet and that proved good for two weeks and counting of news headlines.

I saw a mentalist hypnotize 85% of a movie theater crowd on the Discovery channel a couple of weeks back. Participants came out of the theater applauding a movie they never saw. My mind traveled back to throngs of people at Barack Obama’s speeches, then to masses of people at Adolf Hitler's black masses. I remain astounded how gullible and susceptible to manipulation people can be. Comparing these folks to sheep insults the sheep.

My spring garden offers its last fruits—only peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and a few melons continue to produce. I am setting out additional sweet potato vines as I go and recently planted a couple of short rows of okra. My wife says I’ll get divorced if I plant any more black-eyed peas.

The pantry is packed with jars; peas, corn, carrots, green beans, pickles and more. The freezers are stocked with meat and corn on the cob. Hogs await slaughter in the pens. We winnowed and sacked dried pinto beans last week. Onions are harvested and stored as are Irish potatoes.

We have cheese and tallow stored. Chickens, eggs, goats. Milk cows keep giving milk.

I sold most of last year’s corn to make room for the new crop, which should be ready in a couple of weeks. I also have 120 acres of milo to harvest, or so I hope.

Roy and Urlit Miller are preparing a molasses mill for some sorghum cane we grew. We hope to start cooking sorghum syrup next week.

All of this is way too much for Leah and I to consume. And not near enough if the trucks stop arriving.

Not anywhere near enough.

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