all the things I learned in my early life, I now believe that acquiring
patience is appreciated most. As I meet and study my modern-day
fellow man and woman, the attribute of patience is sometimes hard
Time and again in my early boyhood I heard, "Good things come to
all who wait." Another saying was, "Have patience little jackass."
My grandparents said, "That man has the patience of Job." Many of
the war veterans said, "Hurry up and wait."
I think my first lessons in patience came as a little boy when I
was forced to wait for the second table after the grown-ups had
finished. This usually came at wheat harvest time, cattle shipping
or when the preacher came to dinner. I would go to my bedroom and
wait so I didn't have to watch him eat my favorite piece of fried
A second patience lesson came at church revivals when the sermons
seemed to go on and on forever. The best part came when the preacher
yelled and pounded the pulpit and all the old men said "Amen, A-A-Amen."
Our family always worked hard, and us boys had endless chores to
do. I learned more patience waiting for school to start in the fall
so we could have some relief from so much summer work. The lessons
came again in the spring waiting for school to end. Waiting for
the bus to come on a cold day always required some teeth-chattering
the mailman to come, hoping he would have your package you had ordered
from Sears and Roebuck, and counting the days until Santa Clause
came also taught a lot of patience.
The real lessons in patience came when I got old enough to drive
a tractor. We had 22-36 International tractors without sun shades
and only a gunny-sack-covered gallon jug of water for company. We
started plowing at daylight, refueled, ate lunch at noon and plowed
until sundown. Some hot days I thought I would die before the sun
finally slipped over the horizon.
My father farmed a lot of acres with most of the fields in 320 and
640 acre patches. We had six tractors going and could plow a half-section
a day the second time over. This was good coverage and we all bragged
about our work. But, it took patience.
I learned the
word "overwhelmed" each time we pulled into a 640 field. Only by
squinting you eyes could you see the opposite side. Surely it would
take forever to plow the entire section. But, with patience, that
night the tractors on the opposite side were plain to see. By late
evening the second day we were plowing out the corners throwing
dirt clods at the other tractors going by.
The final patience
lesson came the next morning when we pulled into a new field. Once
again the word was overwhelming as the other tractors looked like
toys on the opposite side of the field. Yes, I learned patience
very well, and I still appreciate the many lessons.
© Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew"
December 4, 2007 Column
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