Fresh Facts Week 31: Normal is a Predictable Constant

By April 10, 2016Fresh Facts, Newsletter

Strawberries! Pretty much tells you spring has sprung and all is right with the world. I’ve often thought the dairy folks should underwrite strawberry farmers because their cream sales have to triple during strawberry season.

I think your farmers have just outdone themselves this week. Cauliflower AND broccoli, strawberries, apples AND oranges and all the other great stuff. If you agree, why not take a minute and write em a note. Their e mail is right there below what they grew and even farmers need a pat on the back once in a while. I know, calling rows of beautiful produce, sunshine and fresh air your office should be adequate compensation, but an occasional atta-boy can put a little spring in your step.

Speaking of spring and spring in your step, Carol and I just walked around Hume Lake and it was wonderful to hear Ten Mile Creek again a few hundred yards before we could see it. The flow is just normal, but we haven’t had normal for a few years.

I think normal is how one would describe this year’s precipitation; Super El Niño turned out to be just El Normal but normal is way better than a 500 year drought. Ten mile runs through Hume and on down Kings Canyon joining the rest of the Kings River snow melt accumulating in Pine Flat Reservoir and eventually flowing right past our farm and home.

Dad used to say: “If you spit in the creek you’ll be drinking it in a week!” This year, it looks like it still might be a month or two before the powers that be release some of that water, so for us, we’re still farming under severe drought conditions, and our water table that took millennia to accumulate continues to be depleted.

But the continuing California water crisis isn’t this week’s topic. I was thinking during the hike that the word ‘normal’ might be fun to explore.

How often have you heard someone say: ‘I wish things could just get back to normal.’ Or ‘things are chaotic right now, but soon they’ll get back to normal, and then we’ll be able to do xyz.”

As much as we all claim to love an adventure, our humanity craves the safety of normal don’t you think? Normal, normally, normalcy, abnormal all assume a predictable constant that I hate to tell ya probably just ain’t normal.

Somebody said: “If you don’t like change, you were born in the wrong century.” But really, its change that’s normal and constant that’s abnormal regardless your century.

Here’s what I have to do personally to retain some slight semblance of sanity. I have to remove myself from the chaos daily (every morning) to re-center, and I have to get completely away for a couple days every few weeks. This used to be something nice, now in my later years it’s become a necessity; maybe it always was and I just wasn’t smart enough to know it.

One final thought on normal. While we can’t stop the chaotic changes in our world, we can choose that our love for our family, our co-workers, our neighbors will remain constant regardless and within that normal, everything else is just stuff. And of course, a nice bowl spring strawberries makes everything better.

Author Uncle Vern

More posts by Uncle Vern

Leave a Reply