Monday, March 17, 2008

I like to dream about 'what if . . .'

The following is my current column in the Midwest Producer. It can also be seen at :

Wednesday, March 12, 2008 Edition

I like to dream about what if. What if I were to win the lottery? What would I do with all of that money? I know I would give a lot of it away and build a house. Then what would I do? Would I move? Where could I move to that would appeal to me 12 months a year. The fact is that when I go on a vacation to fish, it becomes like any other job after about four days of it in a row. When I go somewhere to play golf it is a lot of fun until I get there and write down two double bogies in a row. Then I again begin to dream. Like what a set of Ping golf clubs will look like after being run over by a tractor trailer on I-80. Lately I dream about what if we had really nice winter weather. Now this part I'm not serious about because I don't want to live in a 'destination' state. If Kansas and Nebraska had great winter weather, then we'd become what we despise when we go to the big city. I like looking out of my front door and looking at dirt, not people. Dirt with grass, dirt with corn or beans growing on it, or in today's case, dirt with snow on top of it. I like the fact that if someone drives by my house this time of year that I must get up to see who that was. For crying out loud, that's the second car this week. We may need to do something about it.
What we do and who we are usually depends on who our folks were. My dad was a farmer on the Missouri River bottom 50 miles north of Omaha. So am I. He raised corn and beans. So do I. Dad started out farming with horses but got rid of them as soon as the tractors took over. As for me, I don't remember a time we didn't have tractors but I have horses anyway. Yes, Dad was smarter than me in a lot of ways. But in this regard there is a good explanation. Mom didn't like horses and wouldn't ride one. My wife does.
What if Dad had been a greens keeper in Hawaii? Today I could be mowing grass, raking sand and taking orders from a Polynesian who is even larger than me. (Not likely on the last part)I could be greeting mainlanders with a big smile and inviting them to play golf. "Why yes of course we take Visa," I would say to them, and then I'd put my arm around their shoulder and quietly say, "Wait until you see the girls running the beverage cart." Wink, Wink.Then I am brought back to reality in the most brutal of ways. My doorbell rings and some guy dressed for a trip to the North Pole asks if it's okay if he does some deer hunting. He has on one of those Russian style hats, a camo coat and he has tobacco juice running down his uncut beard and I'll not even describe his smile. I say "yeah, go ahead and hunt all you want." Then, as he turns and starts to walk away, I say, "Wait until you see the girls running our beverage cart." Wink, Wink. He stops, then turns and stares at me and says "Huh?"

"Ah, never mind, I didn't say anything, I've got something in my eye."


Shannon said...

That is a good question...would we stay here and keep fighting against development, or move north as my hubby thinks he yearns for. Truth is, our whole families are all right here within one hour or less. Roots are deep.
Funny about the deer hunter. We don't let them hunt, but we DO sell them the corn to do it. Expensive hobby if you ask me, but it does give me some money to play with, lol.

Flip Flop Momma said...

your like a celebrity...can I have your autograph?..

I have never had anything published in the paper...*drats*

pretty good though Cliff, pretty darn good boy..

Marc said...

Hey Cliff,

Have not dropped by in a while. Good to see you are still pushing snow.

We just got back from the Texas coast and a birding tour at King ranch. that was wonderful. I love Corpus. We try to go there every couple of years.

Rockport/Fulton is our favorite spot and we stay at the Pelican bay resort. They have neat little cabins that we really enjoy.

Have you heard from Sunny (Lee) our Aussie friend? She quit posting in January or so. Hope she is OK.

Drop me a line at with any news.

I think you can click on my name to see our trip pics.


Marc said...

Nope, Go here.

BTW, my birthday is March 15...The Ides of March.

Good fortune and blessings to you and yours.


Jim said...

That's good, Cliff. You say your current column, how often do you get to write one for the Producer?
A lot of us can identify with you here, I'll bet a lot of the paper readers also.
A couple departures, double boggey is my handicap. Well one of them, I do fly the blue International flag so I can ride up to the greens.
You can live in the country in Texas, with dirt in by the front yard, horses out back, and wolves that howl at night. If you want to do that. We have fields with cattle across from our subdivision.
There will be several year-round golf courses close. And lots of Baptist churches, there are 83 within fifteen miles of our house. And 23 Wal-marts.

Cliff said...

23 Wal-Marts? We'll pack our bags.

Peter said...

Until the subject of snow arose I was nodding in agreement with you Cliff, but then you lost me.

Jerry said...

Your editor at Midwest Producer must feel like the luckiest guy in the world. Cliff, you have really got the knack for writing. I think it runs in the Morrow blood. Another classic column for the magazine.

Hopefully your column won't end sharing a page with an article on manure management.

Lucy Stern said...

I've lived in Houston my whole life and I'm not planning on moving right now. I've always heard that life happens on the way to our dreams....My whole family is here and I wouldn't want to move away from them. I'm happy. What more can you ask?

Cliff said...

Yep Lucy. Home is home. That's why we like it. I guess we get used to it. What ever IT is.

Ralph said...

Another great article Cliff.

Rachel said...

Great article Cliff. You really are a good writer. I wish I were so talented!

If I won the lottery I would buy LAND and lots of horses. I'd have several homes on the property so any of my family or friends could come and visit rent free whenever they wanted to. Wouldn't that be nice!! Kind of hard to ever win if you never buy a ticket though.

Gette said...

I'll let you know if three or four days in a row of drinking little umbrella cocktails on a beach starts to feel like work. When should I start.

Jamie Dawn said...

The daydream of winning the lottery is one I rehearse often. I give a lot of it away too, and it is such a joy to think of all the people and charities I'd give money to.
I also think about the trips I'd take with my family.
Having way too much money is a problem I'd like to work out.

Another good column, Cliff.
I'm sure your readers really enjoy your wit and charm.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Cliff! When the lottery gets up there, I sit and think "What if I won? What would I do? I would buy land. Lots and lots of land as not have neighbors." But I am home. My roots are right where I am.

This is a great article. That newspaper is lucky to have you. Lisa

Janell said...

Well done, Cliff. EXTREMELY well done!

Jim said...

Hey Cliff, I have made an award to you of the "You Make The World A Better Place" award. Merle, my blogging buddy of Australia, gave this to me, I couldn't see that you had received this one.
The details are on my JIM'S LITTLE BLOG. I hope you like it.

Cliff said...

Thanks Jim, I've started working on my acceptance speech.

Miki said...

Wow! I love your column! I didn't know you were a celebrity! OH MY! I missed a lot when I took my little hiatus! Belated happy Bday to your lovely wife. Hope the dinner and movie were great, and to you, hope the fish fry was fun. Haven't een to one of those in years, went with my parents when I was little, but never again. You are right, what our parents are does shape us in many ways. My Dad was a truck driver, over the road and local, for most of my life. My Mom was aworking mother, in my younger years a telephone operator for Ma Bell. Her crazy hours in my young life made me realize how much time I didn't have with her. It also makes me look back and appreciate how much she did for me and still was able to hold down a job, full time. I guess that is why I make the sacrifice that I do, I don't work outside the home, I want to be here when the bus pulls up after school. I think that is why I don't work full time and we must struggle to give the kids their "wants" not needs. Any how, I want your autograph too! You are famous!

bobbie said...

I guess who we are does depend on our parents, whether we want to emulate them or if it's a perverse sort of thing.
I loved your column. Sometimes "what-iffing" is what keeps us going.

Mike ( ex scientia, veritas ) said...

Nice job on the column! The "23 Wal-Marts" got to you, huh? LOL

Jamie Dawn said...

I just put Blog Church up early.
My mom is flying in tomorrow morning for a weekend visit.
I won't be blogging again until Monday.
I wanted to come by and wish you, Marilyn, and your family a very Happy Easter!! I hope you have nice weather on Easter. Be sure to wear you best Sunday dress.

gel (emerald eyes) said...

It's thrilling to read this, Cliffers because maybe you had a dream to write publically beyond a blog and now you're doing it? Not only are you, but you were asked; that makes it a special honor.

Seeing one's words in print, up for public perusual, is a difficult challenge when writing for a place like the paper. You rose to it. I enjoyed this piece. I'm a firm believer in dreams, whatiffing, and daydreams.

I don't know if you remember that my first blog (Good Vibrations)had this in the header or footer (dependin on my mood).I used a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: "The future belongs into those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

I love the philosphical tone of "what iffing?"

Gel { * * }

Mike ( ex scientia, veritas ) said...

Ditto,JD's last comment! HAPPY EASTER, Cliff and family - "I Can Only Imagine"

LZ Blogger said...

Cliff ~ Hey bud! I just wanted to stop by and wish you and Marilyn a "VERY HAPPY EASTER!" ~ jb///

LZ Blogger said...

I got a kick out of your post on my blog (as usual). Don't worry... I don't think those nutty bird-watchers (like me) would actually come to Nebraska to see BIRDS! Do ya think? But then again... ~ jb///