I should probably see a psychiatrist. Regular readers of this column will likely think I should have done it years ago, but I am really beginning to think I need to schedule a doctor’s visit, if for no other reason, to interpret my recurring dreams.
For 45 years, I’ve had the same dream, over and over again, where I wake up in a nervous sweat, realizing I have missed a final exam. I did, in fact, miss a final exam about halfway through my collegiate experience. I would like to think my oversleeping of that early morning test was because of an all-night study session…but, we all know that’s not the reason. Luckily, the kindly old professor allowed me to make up the evaluation and I was able to retain my exceptional “C” grade. So, I can probably interpret the meaning of that dream without the help of a healthcare professional. But, there are three more dreams that are recurring with regularity, that I just can’t explain.
In the first dream, I drive into a field of cows and calves, to feed them hay, and the cows, as usual, line up behind me as I unroll the large bale. Out of the woods, walks a newborn calf, without an ear tag (I try to tag every calf as they are born). Then, another calf walks out…and another…and another…until over a dozen calves surround me, none of whom are sporting numbered ear tags. Are they the neighbors’ calves or are they mine and I’ve just failed to put tags in their ears? I wake up and breathe a sigh of relief, realizing its not calving season, yet.
The second dream is more disturbing. It’s autumn and I’m rounding up spring-born calves to sell at the livestock auction. It’s after we’ve gathered all the herds at different farms and sorted off the calves to load onto trucks, when I suddenly realize that I have forgotten a herd of cattle at another farm. We make a quick trip to that place and find that they have been without feed all summer long. What’s more frightening, it appears that they have been without water for quite some time and are on the verge of death. How could I forget about having an entire herd of cattle? I wake up and know that it was a dream, because I sold that farm six years ago.
The last dream is really more of a nightmare. I’m driving my tractor through the field, clipping old seed-heads and weeds in the field, when a fancy, black, SUV pulls into the driveway and a couple of men in suits get out. When I stop the tractor and walk over to meet them, they introduce themselves as officials from my local bank. They politely tell me, that I am seriously behind in my payments to them and they are going to, unfortunately, foreclose on my farm and home. At first, I’m in a panic, but then I look back toward the tractor, and realize that this has to be a dream, because I would never be caught dead in a tractor that was that color.
Jerry Crownover is a farmer and former professor of Agriculture Education at Missouri State University. He is a native of Baxter County, Arkansas, and an author and professional speaker. To contact Jerry, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’