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  Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Patience a valuable lesson

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew

Of 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 to find.

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 chicken.

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 patience.

Waiting for 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
E-mail: trewblue@centramedia.net.

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