Well. It's the end of 2013. And while many of my social media and blogger friends are posting fabulous lists highlighting the highs and lows of 2013 and all that they wish to happen in 2014, I have but two things I'd like to see happen in 2014:
1/ Normal weather. Seriously. Is it asking so much to plant in April, spray in June, have nice rainfall and heat units through the summer and a harvest that starts in September and ends in October, with a lovely November for tillage and tiling and fertilizer application? Perhaps. But I'm asking anyway.
2/ And that everyone would write down their safe combinations.
Ok, that's weird. I know.
But it's on the top of my mind today and here's the back story: we traveled to my Dad's for Christmas in southern Illinois over the weekend. There's a safe sitting in my Dad's office, bought by my parents in the early '80s. Dad doesn't know the combination - hasn't for years. Mom apparently either knew it or knew where it was written down. They just always left it unlatched, and stored deeds and cash-on-hand in it. Since my mother has passed away, Dad realized a year or so ago that this was a problem, so he just made sure never to latch it or spin the combination dial.
Well. Nathan took care of that on Sunday morning. He jimmied with the latch. And turned the dial. Bless his little eight-year-old heart, but this is the kid we are forever telling to just leave stuff alone. Just stop touching and messing and fiddling. The good news for Nathan was that Grandpa was a lot less angry than Dad. I suppose that's normal, because I'm pretty sure my dad would've flipped out if my brother done something like that when we were kids.
So after Dad and John unsuccessfully took a hammer and a pry bar to the safe (while Nathan stood sweating behind them), Dad and I spent the afternoon scouring his office and filing cabinets looking for either the combination or the model/serial number, which Sentry Safes promised I could use online - with a notary! - to get the combination. Our afternoon of searching yielded valuable information, like results from the 1972 National Shorthorn Show and also every Shorthorn sale catalog (marked with sale prices) from the 1980s. However, we did not find the pertinent safe information.
Having given up and finding myself wandering through the house, I just happened to open this teensy little drawer on an old desk that sits in my old bedroom. I lifted a couple yellowed envelopes. And there, on top of two New Testament Bibles, was a yellowed 3x3 piece of paper with both Mom's and Dad's handwriting on it and three numbers, with left-right-left after and OPEN written at the bottom.
Seriously, it's like we were like Indiana Jones or something.
I ran out with it to show Dad, who had zero recollection of the paper scrap. My brother took it to the safe, tried it out and drum roll, please: it actually worked! Cue the Hallelujah chorus! And let me assure you, Nathan was perhaps the most relieved of us all.
My brother has now written the combination in various (hidden) places all over the office, and has taken a copy to his house. Safekeeping, in more ways than one.
The moral of the story: don't be like us. If you have a safe - gun, money or otherwise - make sure various family members have a copy of the combination. Unless, of course, you fancy blowing up a safe. Which I think my brother was maybe looking forward to.
With that, wishing you a happy, happy New Year, filled with ideal weather and unlocked safes and all that is good and right in agriculture!
Interested in the top My Generation posts from 2013? Here they are!
- 1. CAFO: 'The Auschwitz of Livestock'?
- 2. 'For That Little Girl in Kansas'
- 3. GMO-No: Farmers Are Not Stupid
- 4. 30 Days: Five Things About Five Things
- 5. Farming: It's the Hard That Makes It Great
- 6. Monsanto Did Not Pay Me To Write This
- 7. Ode to the Fair Board Member
- 8. Is the Customer Always Right?
- 9. Five Things I Didn't Know When I Married a Farmer
- 10. Forests, Trees and Paul Harvey