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Township Roads: Go ahead! Wreck my day!

Fri, Feb 21st, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I try to look on the bright side of things. Thereís a silver lining to every cloud and all that. I may be unreasonably optimistic. Thatís why I donít usually allow little things to disrupt my day.

Maybe this is from having lived and worked on a dairy farm. I had to get up early for years, whether I wanted to or not, whether I felt like it or not. I found that, when the alarm clock rang, it was best not to think about what I was about to do. Once the cows were milked, it seemed like the rest of the day was off to a good start. But, once in a while, when I got to the barn things were not as I might have liked them to be. The electricity might not be working. The bulk tank might be full of warm milk. There might be water running out the door from a broken pipe. There might be a cow having trouble calving. The possibilities were endless. When nothing went wrong, it was almost a miracle. When nothing went wrong it was going to be a good day.

These days my life is simpler. There are no cows to milk and less machinery to break down. There are still a few things that inch their way in to try to wreck my day. These are not earth-shattering events but, given the wrong attitude, they all have the potential to wreck a personís day.

For example, one day last week I got hit in the head with a chicken. I went into the chickenís den to give them a scoop of feed before I went to work. As I turned around, one of the big hens jumped off her perch in the rafters and had a mid-air collision with my left ear. It didnít hurt, but it surprised me. Iíll tell you I let her have a piece of my mind. That didnít wreck her day, but when I realized I was trying to change a chickenís behavior by speaking to her, it rattled my confidence a little.

We still have a crowd of ladybugs in our house that often try to wreck my day. They have several little tricks up their spotted wings. Their main talent is to land where I can taste them and they taste terrible. They enjoy landing in my mouth as I snore peacefully. When I am having my breakfast they like to drop out of the chandelier into my oatmeal or orange juice. Ladybugs also enjoy the taste of toothpaste and I have to be careful to shake them off my toothbrush. I usually remember to do this, but the taste of Crest and ladybug still lingers. I noticed the other day that I must have missed one because there were ladybug wing parts stuck in my brush. I didnít let that wreck my day, though. It could have been worse.

Our pets conspired against me one day last week. Our little dog had a case of the dog flu. She had been confined on a tile floor, but she escaped onto the carpeted area where she performed virtually every involuntary canine indiscretion at least once, and some of them several times. As I came into the room, I made a mad dash to move her back to the tiled area. She found it necessary to throw up on me for my trouble. I could have let that wreck my day, but I decided not to. That worked. A week later it was my turn for the flu. That wrecked two of my days. I did not return any favors to the dog to try to wreck her day.

Some of these little annoyances are my own fault. I lose my glasses before breakfast at least once a week. No problem. My son, Ted, can usually find them for me. He starts out by looking at and around potted plants where I tend to lay them.

I step in the dogís water bowl in my stocking feet every now and then. I donít let that bother me.

It is annoying to have a kitty eat my blood pressure medicine, but if it doesnít bother him, it doesnít bother me. Iíll try to be more careful. He likes vitamins, too.

A person has to keep a sense of humor about these early morning slips. I crossed my legs at a meeting one cold winter day and noticed that I had a blue sock on my left foot and a black one on my right. Mismatched socks from getting dressed in the dark? No. There were actually two socks on my left foot. A blue one over the top of the black one. I thought that shoe went on a little hard that morning. Again, my confidence could have been rattled, but this problem was actually easy to fix. When we had a break, I slipped out to the parking lot and left my extra sock in the truck. It could have been worse.

It doesnít pay to get too excited about these little things. I just dare them to go ahead and wreck my day.

Wayne Pike can be contacted at wcpike@smig.net

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