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'The Wet Stage' is the latest of life's phases

Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009, at 1:01 PM

It's "hurry and wait time" again.

We hurried up -- trying to get our fertilizer (anhydrous) on in March -- but then that month went out like a lion. Then it rained and rained and rained some more.

I had hoped 2008 would just be that extreme year we talked about when we talked about the worst of times. Someone would say "Remember back in 2008, when we had that terrible year and couldn't get our corn or beans planted?" And then after shuddering quietly to myself, I'd say something wise and witty like, "Oh, yes, but it was just a year, it didn't last long and we survived."

Then we'd laugh a nervous laugh, say a silent prayer it never happens again and be thankful we made it through.

But now, 2009 is starting to look a lot like last year -- in fact we have fields that haven't been dry for two years now.

So now I'm starting to think it might become not just a rare year or little blip on the radar screen of life, but instead another "stage" of our hopefully long lives.

No doubt it will be remembered as the "Wet Stage."

The chapters in our adult lives began easily enough with the "College Stage." That was a blissfully happy time of life, where we no longer were told "what to do," but quite frankly didn't have that much we "had to do." We didn't know what was going on outside of our campus and frankly didn't care. We lived in a news and real life vacuum where 10 p.m. was the perfect time to go out for the evening, people over 30 were old, pizza was a major food group and early morning meant a class before 11 a.m.

After graduating, my husband and I got married and we started the "Newlywed Stage." It was a fun, exciting time where we learned 10 p.m. was the time you had to go to bed and work started long before 11 a.m. We also learned money didn't grow on trees -- it grew in the field. (Okay, my farm boy husband already knew that -- but I certainly didn't.)

I learned that you couldn't live on parties alone and that weather -- especially rain -- was to be my friend or enemy for the rest of my life. (It would change back and forth often in the same year.)

Four years later we started the "Baby Stage," joining many friends. It too was an exciting time where we learned that sleep was a thing to appreciate -- both for parents and the baby. We also learned that being up at 2 a.m. had an entirely different meaning now then it did during the "College Stage." It was during that time that we believed we'd have "perfect" children and they "would never do" the seemingly horrible things we saw other children do. (We could also call this the "Naive Stage.")

Soon we were in the "Toddler Stage" and the "Terrible Two Stage", where we quickly learned not only would our children "not do" what so and so's child did -- they would do something worse.

But then we entered into what I like to call the "Grace Period Stage." It was that magical time between baby days and teenage days, where you can travel without a king sized diaper bag, a walker, baby bed, high chair and 37 "favorite" toys. Instead you had walking, talking children that could sit still longer than 5 minutes and carry on an intelligent conversation without tears -- or sarcasm.

That led us into the "Teenage Stage" where our sweet children turned on us ... overnight. They went from reasoning little adults at age 12 to unreasonable big babies at age 13. They tried to pretend they were hatched from eggs in the middle of a parking lot and somehow made their way to middle school without any parental guidance or supervision.

Thankfully, with our boys, that stage didn't last too long, before they went into the "Young Adult" stage and then with my oldest -- the "College Stage."

That brought us full circle where we came to terms with the fact that we were too old to go back to campus and if we tried even for one night -- we'd need two weeks recovery time.

Now we're getting ready for the "Empty-Nest Stage" -- the one I look forward to and dread all at the same time. Someday (not too soon), we'll likely enter the "Grandparent Stage," -- a stage some of our friends are now beginning.

Simultaneously with those stages we were going through farming stages as well -- ranging from the "Dry Stage," to the "Drought Stage" to the "We Can't Grow Anything Stage."

We've been in the "Prices are Way Down Stage," the "Not Sure How Long We Can Keep Going Stage", the "Prices are Slightly Up Stage" to the "Why Did We Sell Our Crops So Early Stage."

Whether it's with our farm or with our children we learned that "stages" do pass, even though at the time it seems like they never will.

That brings me back to this "Wet Stage."

I think the old farmer summed it up best when he told my husband last year: "You know what they say, 'A dry year will worry you, but a wet year will kill you.'"

Well let's hope not -- we still have "stages" to get to, but in the meantime, I hope this one passes quickly.

For now I often find my mind wandering while looking at our farm ground covered in standing water.

"Honey, have you ever thought of raising rice ... or fish?"

Maybe we can call that our "Alternative Crops Stage."

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YeeHaw- That will be another stage, I'm sure, but I'm not ready to think about that one yet!!

-- Posted by Marcia Gorrell on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 8:51 PM

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