by Will Klemm
Before I get on with my blog post, let me say that round bales in a field bring an enormous calm to my soul. I don't know why.
Maybe in a former life, I was a farmer's wife.
Once the hay was baled, it meant a successful growing season??
I fell in love with this painting back when Will Klemm was an up and coming artist.
He hails from Austin and I saw this work in a gallery years and years ago.
It still speaks to me.
But why do I use a picture of hay today?
Today, I got a bale of hay at Tractor Supply.
They don't usually carry hay.
I don't usually buy hay.
I buy one bale a year to help my hens stay warm during our cold snaps.
I wasn't prepared to buy hay.
I didn't have a tarp in the back of my car to protect everything from stray pieces of hay.
I figured I'd gently place the bale down in the back cargo area and vacuum out the pieces later.
I should have followed my instinct when I got in line to pay.
My cashier was a bit abrupt.
There was some back and forth between he and the manager about some woman that wanted empty feed sacks. I could tell that he had other things on his mind.
The thought befuddled him.
"Why would we have empty feed sacks?"
Anyway, back to the hay.
He insisted on putting the hay in my car himself.
I knew it was to get out of the store.
I told him I could get it.
"Nope, I'll do it."
He didn't offer to carry my 40# of seed corn, though.
I opened the back of my car and he tossed the bale in.
Not only did it thump in, it hit the back of the back seats and poofed hay all over the inside of my car.
Clear up to the dash!
Did I freak out like most folks would have?
Because I gave him a 'story'.
His story went something like this......
"Christmas is just around the corner. I'm 55+ years old, working at a Tractor Supply. I can barely pay my bills, let alone buy presents for my grandkids. My boss is riding me about some woman who thinks I have the power to come up with empty feed sacks so she can make purses or bags or some darned thing...."
This story and the hundreds more I come up with each year, enable me to get along with my fellow human beings.
I chose not to fly off the handle at folks that cut me off in traffic, butt in front of me in a checkout line, ignore me when I say 'excuse me' to get by in the grocery store, park so close to me in the parking lot that I can't get in my car, and on and on.
But don't those folks know they're being rude? Don't they need a dressing down?
I just choose to believe that most folks are good.
Most folks aren't on this planet to make my life difficult or tick me off.
If I let all the little irritations in my daily life get to me, I'd be covered with a rash by days end.
I remember when my mom was dying.
I'm quite sure I was short and snippy and paid no attention to how I treated strangers.
I was in my own little world.
I had a story.
The next time you want to chase someone down in their car because they cut you off, try to imagine that they are in a hurry because their wife is in labor or their husband got laid off this morning.
It'll be good for both of you.
If that doesn't work, think of round bales in a field.
Maybe that'll help.