The Planted Row: Time to remember the little things

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Farm Forum

Last weekend, the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee held its annual Ag Appreciation Banquet. We honored the LeRoy and Joan Weiszhaar Family of Leola as our 2016 Farm Family of the Year, an award sponsored by the Farm Forum and Chamber Ag Committee. We presented the Making a Difference Award to Adam Franken, the Groton FFA advisor, for all the hard work he and his students put into the events hosted by the Ag Committee each year. The Groton FFA students were also presented with a special award of $800 for their chapter by Farm Credit Services of America for the help they offer at Ag Committee events.

The banquet was like an early Thanksgiving because our community was giving thanks to farmers, ranchers, and those involved in the agriculture industry, and there were many farmers at the banquet who seemed thankful for a bin-busting crop.

A good crop is great news, and it’s one of the things I’m thankful for as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week. With all of the food and family of Christmas and none of the commercialism, it’s my favorite holiday. It presents us with a moment to remember all of the important things in our lives — including the things we often forget in the rush to complete the many tasks that make up our daily lives.

Despite all the challenges we’re facing as a nation, as a people, and as a culture, despite everything this world is throwing at us, moments that we will remember on our death beds, moments that we will wish to live in again, are happening every day in our lives. Thanksgiving gives us a rare moment to pause, take a breath, and remember what it is we’re truly living for.

Next Thursday, I want to remember the time my grandfather baited my first hook and helped me catch my first fish. I want to remember the smile on his face and the deftness with which his farm-gnarled hands threaded the worm. I want to remember my grandmother pressing a cold, wet washcloth to my forehead when I was sick. I want to remember my father making up songs as I rode with him in the cab of a tractor. I want to remember the elation with which my dog Whitefoot greeted me the first time he saw me. I want to remember jumping railroad tracks and ruining the shocks in my first car. I want to remember my best friends and I singing along with the radio as we flew down country roads at 2 a.m. I want to remember how my wife looks like she can’t breath and stomps her foot when I make her laugh. I want to remember my son’s smile when he does a job well and I tell him I’m proud of him. I want to remember every time my daughter has surprised me by jumping onto my back and every time she has come to me in tears because she had a bad dream.

My guess is that your life is as full of these little moments as mine and that they pass away in your life just as quickly as they do in mine. Next Thursday, when you get together with the people you love most, and you remember the great big things in your life for which you are thankful, I hope you remember these small things. I hope you remember them because I don’t think any achievement or major event in my life has ever given me as much joy as these little moments.

My guess is that it’s the same with you.

Happy Thanksgiving.