A Spring Worth Forgetting

Hoosier Perspectives

Officially there's still 22 days to go- great!

Published on: June 1, 2011

A friend once said that the great thing about the 4-H club pig business was that you get to start over each year. In the spring, in late March and early April, they're all winners. Then you take your lumps and start over next year, hoping this will be the year when that one that looks great in April still looks good in July and August in the show ring.

Well, I think I've seen enough of this spring already. Hope may spring eternal, but this one is a train going down a fat track to nowhere. It's a shame we can't declare a do-over, and flip ahead or flip back, to another March 15, and start over, with the same enthusiasm 4-H pig breeders have each time they get a new crop.

April was the wettest since 1895. Some folks in the northwest Indiana area got some corn in late but in decent shape. I even helped plant our plot we do with the Tippecanoe County Extension Service and Precision Planting on Friday, May 21, and the conditions were good. But where I live, the conditions have never been very good. Some people have planted- after all, it's nearly June 1. But to say there's been a day when it planted perfectly- not here.

I plant soybeans for a neighbor, or I'm supposed to. I was set to start last Monday morning, but it rained three-tenths Sunday night, and it continues to storm and rain. Mid-last week the heavy stuff came in. I've seen it before- a tornado went through Greenwood May 25, 1974, and I watched it from a farmer's field. It picked up a barn like it was in the Wizard of Oz, and then spread it over 40 acres in all directions. A neighbor got an eerie shot of it still together in the air. It was a pole barn, only a year old, after a rental family's kids burnt down the majestic original barn. The storm took the new one out by the poles. But it left a ton of corn cobs stacked on the ground- there wasn't a cob missing.

All this seems tame compared to what happened to the poor folks in Joplin, Missouri- our heart goes out to them, and to the folks in Arkansas and Alabama. Earlier this spring, 24 small tornadoes hit Indiana in one day. A buddy lives in Oklahoma, and last week he saw them do something he's never seen in the 23 years he's lived there- they declared a tornado emergency and sent people home. Good thing too, because the tornadoes showed up as promised.

God wasn't ready for the rapture. He's not going to tell us when it will happen, it says so in the Bible. But this old world sure has been doing some moaning and creaking lately. With the earthquake in Japan and record tornadoes in the U.S., it gives one pause.

It also means I shouldn't fret about not having crops in the ground. I still have a home and loving family. And unfortunately, we don't get do-overs in life- not for things we do or don't do, and not for weather. We'll have to roll with what we get.

Hoosiers stronger than me have done it for nearly 200 years. So unless I wake up and find this was all a bad dream, we'll make it through it. Next spring we'll hope for better, always the optimist, both in weather and 4-H pigs. Until then, hang on! This spring is certainly a wild ride.