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We can complain — but think of the farmers

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Weather. This is the year we’ve spent more time talking about it than we ever have before. Of course, we know that it didn’t do any good, there just was no change from that cold, cold cold!

But maybe now we’ll have a bit more sympathy for the farmer, who has always been so dependent on the weather.

I did not hear too many country people complaining about the winter. They knew they were utterly dependent on the weather, and it did not do one bit of good to talk negatively about it.

All that would happen if they complained is that the atmosphere around them cooled off, even if they were in a warm room. A farmer, especially a grain-farmer, has known from long time ago that his livelihood dependson temperature, moisture and sunshine.

Perhaps he listened to us and said, very softly: "Yes, now they might realize what we’ve always been up against, since our first ancestors put their hand to the plow."

For us this was a special year; we could keep warm by piling on the blankets, adding layers to our clothing or staying indoors.

But the farmer? He’s been waiting to see whether the ground will warm up enough to slide the seeds in or even if there will be dryer land to plant  the seeds in.

Added to this is that last year produced so much of a harvest here was little room left in elevators to store the unsold crop. Another difficulty!

Let’s look at moisture. I know the people with homes that have been without water for so long (1,300-plus), deserve our sympathy. It must be a tremendous strain to be so bereft of water — to clean things or even to drink. Here again, the farmer is always dependent on moisture, either from the skies, or, an irrigation system. If he could, he would also regulate sunshine — enough, but not too much, or the crops die.

As I said before, this is a very different year, so we need to understand how these problems are affecting everyone.

I lived on a farm for my first 17 years so I know all too well, what can and what probably has happened to many farmers.

Let’s give a quiet "hurrah" to these often-unsung heroes!

☐ ☐ ☐


CORRECTION: In last month’s column, titled "Meet the 90-year-old 300 bowler," I wrote that Frank Owen was born in 1924, when, in fact, he was born in 1923.

Also, he sang bass in the Sintaluta United Church choir, not tenor as I had written.

Bertha Klassen is a community correspondent for Elmwood.

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