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The Farmer’s Field: Be Grateful for the Little Things

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Every year, I do a father/son trip with each of my three boys individually. Since the time they were about four years old, we have made these trips a priority. 

The rules are, they get to choose where they want to go and what they want to do, within reason, of course. As each one of them has matured and found what they are most passionate about, this is what their trip usually involves.  

For Carson, it usually involves adventure of some kind and music. For Spencer, it’s anything farming related or anything revolving around the rural lifestyle, and for Mason, it’s all fishing.  

Every year I get to create memories with them that will live with each of us for the rest of our lives. However, I think one of the best things about these trips are the conversations we are able to have when there is no pressure from the outside world and we are able to just relax and enjoy the time we have together.  

Most importantly, they provide a dose of perspective we all need from time to time. 

There are a lot of distractions in life, and it’s extremely easy to forget about the little things that can mean the most. Quite often, those things come to us in moments when we least expect them.  

On our recent return trip from a great rock concert in Omaha, Neb., Carson and I were making our way back home on I-80. As normal, we were involved in conversation and reminiscing about all of the trips we have made together over the past 15 years.  

Suddenly, what sounded like a shotgun blast inside the cab of the truck made a massive explosion, and our windshield was diminished to small shards of glass. The blast had been so impactful, it blew glass into the back window, past the second row of seats.  

Cruising at 80 miles per hour, we were fortunate to keep the vehicle under control, pull off to the side of the road, regain our new sense of reality, turn the truck around and ease back to the city of Lincoln, Neb.  

As we found a gas station to pull into and stop, we became acutely aware of our surroundings and the glass that had blown into the cab, down our shirts and onto our bodies. 

We were both completely unaware of what might have possibly hit the truck as neither of us saw anything either before or after the impact.  

Remarkably enough, the windshield, although concave into the cab, remained intact and upon further examination, we found no other damage to the vehicle. Even more remarkable than this was neither of us were harmed in any way. 

Furthermore, we were able to locate a company that was able to ship in a new windshield and install it the next morning in the parking lot of our hotel. Additionally, the hotel loaned us a vacuum so we could clean up the glass in the cab.  

As we were cleaning up the mess, our conversation led to two things. 

First, how blessed we were to have been completely unharmed, to have no other damage to the truck, to find a hotel that was so accommodating and to find a company that could get us up and running in less than 24 hours.  

Second, that whatever hit our windshield didn’t penetrate and come into the cab. It would have surely spelled disaster for one of us.  

The next morning, the windshield company determined what resembled about a 14-inch piece of rebar hit the windshield completely flat. It was traveling at such a high rate of speed, it was not visible to either of us.

I am still in awe of the shear strength of the design that must go into building windshields. It is truly incredible.  

Carson and I took the evening to celebrate the unexpected opportunity to spend one more evening together. Most especially one in good health. 

Our conversation over aged Nebraska ribeyes revolved around life’s many blessings that we most often fail to recognize – things like counting blessings and looking for the good in what can be unfortunate circumstances and being grateful for some of life’s mishaps, which ultimately give us a moment to take a deep breath, forget about schedules and agendas and enjoy the moment. 

The perspective to be thankful and pay attention to the many things that help to make our lives safer and better – things like strength design behind windshield glass and simple devices like vacuums to clean up messes that could otherwise be harmful if performed in any other way. 

Simply put, there are so many “little things” we are surrounded by in our lives that we fail to recognize. We take them for granted or we are completely oblivious to their presence.  

One little idea of putting a vinyl sheet between two panes of glass seems small, until it protects us from severe harm. Then, it’s a really big deal. The extra moments one gets with their son might just be the perspective, the time and the conversation he needed at that moment in his life. 

As humans, we most often want to do something “big” to become something big or to be recognized in a big way. While this is a noble desire, it’s truly the little things that matter the most.  

All of the little things we have an opportunity to do in our lives every day are what make the big things in life possible. And, for those things I am most grateful.

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