Plane crashes and April 15 aside, life is good.
Of late I have been using the "Life is hard, then you die," cliché to friends and family. Since very few of these listen to me anyway, I have failed to make an impression. Anyway, I really am an angry optimist. Angry that I am not so rich I can live in Paris in the Ritz, optimistic because there's always that next lottery ticket!
Oh, I have such visions of myself as James Bond, or maybe Ward Bond at least. I put my head to pillow at night and feel the wind blowing through my cape as I soar over tall buildings faster than … well, you get the idea.
I think my daydreams of grandeur are the boy still inside yearning to do something really newsworthy. Like kickboxing a mass of bikers picking on my daughter, or ripping the door off a burning vehicle to rescue Obama.
Just once, I'd like to earn some honor that would make my wife feel better about building the pyramid I am asking for when that chariot hauls me heavenward. Headlines like "Farm Writer Cures Cancer," or "Obscure Nobody Lands on Mercury," would be appreciated.
Down to earth, however, I only want what the average Joe desires: Endless wealth.
I would make such a great rich person, giving big tips and investing in American enterprise with garages full of domestic cars and hallways decorated with Angelina Jolie photos.
Once, it was Sophia Loren, but now she's too old for me.
And I really would love to live in Paris where the chocolate is good and you can eat fresh bread as you stroll under the Tower, and live on fruit crepes at little cafes yet unlearned in what a real cup of coffee looks like.
Unlike the ugly Americans of Hemingway's '20s and Fitzgerald's '30s, I would embrace the ambience of the French with relish (and a croissant).
But that's what I really want. To write an "Old Man and the Sea," or "Tender is the Night," and become an icon of Freshman college lit students for a generation.
Would I take fame over money?
Hard call, but I like the second choice so very much. Nevertheless, among riches, one hug from my wife is worth more than any of it.
And, so ,what does all this have to do with agriculture, my big boss may ask?
I haven't the slightest notion.
Except, that we're talking dreams here. To be serious for a second, what could be a bigger dream than a field full of wheat next to a white house full of family? Lots of people I know think living on the rural mail route would be peachy, an escape from the coiled city life of flashing neon and gridlock.
To own a farm, they say, would be their request to the dream genie. I know some of you may wonder about that, stressed by the drought or wildfire's impact.
But know your lifestyle brings smiles and sighs to many an urban Thanksgiving table this week.
The farm, after all, always will be Currier and Ives, Norman Rockwell and Thomas Kincaid in the Louvre of our warmest heart desires.