November 5, 2007. Yesterday, I finished tearing out an old fence and grading the area south of the barn to prepare for the corral. This morning I started setting posts as soon as it was light enough to see, which was around 7 a.m., or so I thought.
I had just finished digging a 3-foot-deep, 12-inch-diameter hole when I noticed the cell phone vibrating in my pocket. I was a little proud of myself for creating three such holes and setting two 250-pound posts in less than 45 minutes … it didn’t seem possible, but the phone’s display flashed 7:44 a.m.
The call was from a friend just home from several days of work-related travel. He wondered if I felt like dropping by his farm later in the day for some fun and food. I was thrilled. We agreed that I’d show up at their place around 3 p.m.
I dug several more holes, cut and set a post in each, and thought the sun seemed strangely low when I climbed into the truck at 2:17 p.m. Eight miles into the trip I noticed that the pickup’s clock displayed 3:28 p.m.; suddenly it all made sense. The sun was low and I hadn’t achieved super-human post-setting skills. The obvious (but incorrect) conclusion was that my phone’s time keeper had malfunctioned, which was all the excuse I needed for being tardy.
My friend laughed and reminded me of the change from daylight saving to standard time when I apologized for arriving an hour late. Turned out I was on time, and we had plenty of light left to play with machinery, watch the sheep dogs at work and collect colorful eggs before settling into an evening of good food and fellowship. We celebrated one another with warm bread fresh from the oven, white chili made with home-grown chicken and conversation that was every bit as satisfying as the food was delicious.
When I was quite a bit younger, I looked forward to “falling” back to standard time because I would get an extra hour of sleep. Today I wouldn’t think of spending those precious “extra” moments in bed. Now I’d much rather use the time to visit with loved ones and friends or experience life firsthand and dream of untold possibilities.
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See you in March. On time.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper’s Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.