Tuesday, March 22, 2005

crop circles

that sounded like a good explanation to me. crop circles. they had them other places. why couldn't we have them here? i knew we didn't have them and wouldn't have believed somebody if they had told me that we did, but someone was saying that we had crop circles. like usual, there were probably people mouthing when they didn't know what they were talking about and/or it was none of their business.

the problem was -- i knew what they were talking about. i didn't tell anyone, though. after all, they might not be talking about what i suspicioned. it might have been a coincidence, too. i didn't want to seem too interested and didn't want to attract any extra attention about it, but tried to listen to the talk of crop circles as much as i could.

i guess there was a local pilot who was sure he saw a crop circle when he was up flying. he wasn't a reliable sort, so no one paid him much attention. he was convinced that he would find it again, but he couldn't seem to locate it. probably not, because he was looking on the west side of pittsburg and the field he wanted was on the east side of pittsburg.

it wasn't really a crop circle, though, but circle crops instead. in my mind, there was a big difference. a few days later, there was a picture in the paper of this field of circle crops. when i came out to breakfast, dad was reading the paper. he cleared his throat and asked if i knew anything about a picture in the paper. i didn't, as i didn't keep track of what was in the paper at all, so i said, "no."

he looked at me w/ a real stern expression on his face and said, "are you sure?"

i again said, "no, i don't know anything about a picture in the paper." and i truly didn't. well, i didn't know anything about it until he showed it to me. then i recognized it immediately. it was a picture of his field that was fairly small and kind of odd-shaped and right next to a pond and meadow way back in the middle of the section . easily identifiable as "his field". anyway, it was pictured in the paper because somebody had planted the field in a circle.

that's right. a circle. a huge circle starting at the center and spiraling out to the edges. really quite beautiful in the overall scheme of things, but not really very practical from a business sense. that was my piece of artwork, although i wasn't thinking of creating art when i did that. i was just thinking that i was sick and tired of driving back and forth in a straight line, knowing that whoever ran the cultivator was going to gripe because the rows weren't straight enough.

well, i had fixed that issue. there was nothing for the cultivator person to gripe about. of course, the cultivator person wouldn't be able to cultivate this field anyway. still, in my mind, the problem was fixed. i was entertained w/ something different and the cultivator person wouldn't be griping. killed 2 birds w/ 1 stone w/ that decision! since dad usually gave us each a field to be responsible for, he made that field mine.

when it was time for everyone else to be spraying, i didn't have much to do. after all, i couldn't spray my field. i was standing out at the shed talking to dad when a plane flew low over the house, dipping its wings back and forth and back and forth before flying on over the section. it dipped out of sight for a few seconds and then circled up and around, only to disappear again. this went on for about 5 more times before the plane flew low over the house and "waved" its wings goodbye.

dad didn't say anything about the plane, and i didn't either. i didn't know what to say, because i didn't know anything about what he was doing. later that evening, jim (the airplane pilot) dropped by the house. dad went out to greet him, mainly because my ornery little dog always snuck around behind jim and bit him on the ankle every time he stopped to visit. i ran outside to get my dog before she got in trouble, and dad was asking him about what he doing out in our area today.

jim just pointed at me and said, "jill and i had an arrangement to get her field sprayed. i brought her bill by." he handed me my statement, totaling $1 for goods and services. he had a smile on his face and a gleam in his eyes, as if he was winning a long-standing game. i told him to wait just a minute while i got my money and then ran inside. i dug out $1 from the money i was saving for july 4th and ran out to pay him. he handed me the ticket, marked "paid in full" after taking my money. he later told dad that he had a little spray left over from another job and that he donated his time and equipment when he heard that dad made me responsible for the field. said it made him feel young to see someone having fun in life.

when we harvested that year, my field made as much profit as anybody else's field. i'm sure that's not what dad intended to happen. in fact, i'm fairly sure that dad intended for me to do a lot of work and not make much money that summer to show me that there were consequences for my actions. i'm sure he also wanted to drive home the idea that my actions could cause myself and others around me a great deal of stress. what i really learned -- sometimes it just pays to be different.

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