Life Is Simple
I’m a lucky guy – always have been. I suppose I first realized that I was prone to good fortune in the third grade when everyone in the entire one-room school I attended received a spanking with the exception of yours truly.
There were about 20 of us that attended the school and one day under the supervision of a substitute teacher, we held a "field day" where everyone participated in races and other contests showcasing our limited physical abilities. Sometime during that afternoon event, I had fallen and cut quite a nasty gash in my knee. Instead of seeking medical help (this was long before school nurses), the substitute teacher simply had two of my buddies carry me home since our house was only about a half-mile (through the woods and over the hill) from the school. While I spent the rest of the afternoon away from school and being doted on by my mother, the rest of the school got into trouble with both the boys and the girls taking turns climbing up to the top of the center partition of the outdoor toilet and taking a peek at the opposite sex in various stages of disrobement.
The substitute teacher discovered the acts of voyeurism, but decided to let the "real teacher" dole out the punishment when she returned the following day.
The next day, as I showed up for class with my leg all bandaged up and limping around like I had just gotten out of the hospital, I was surprised to hear Mrs. Trump request the entire student body to line up for their swats. Quickly I informed her that I had been absent while the disgusting behavior had been going on. She checked her notes left by the substitute teacher and, sure enough, little Jerry Crownover had been taken home by Larry and Gary before the dastardly deed was done. I was spared.
As I attended college, many of my good friends were receiving their "congratulations!" letter from the Selective Service Administration. I, too, was One-A, but they started the lottery the year I should have been drafted and my birthday came up #282 out of the 365 possibilities. Once again, my good luck prevailed.
Later in life, I survived two automobile crashes that probably should have taken my life, but I walked away from both of them. In maybe the greatest stroke of luck, the first young lady to whom I proposed marriage, turned me down – flat out. This allowed me to be unattached when my current wife (and only one, I might add) popped the question to me some 12 years later. Judy didn’t care when I quit my old job and became a full-time farmer. I don’t think the other one would ever have agreed to my career change.
I usually purchase a multi-state lottery ticket when the jackpot gets over 100 million dollars. The way I figure it, by the time you opt for the single payment (I never know when my good luck will expire and I’d hate to die knowing the government owes me several million that I’ll be unable to receive) and after the federal, state, and local taxes are taken out, that’s just going to leave you with about 25 million. I calculate that it would take pretty close to that amount to allow me to continue to farm until retirement.
If you can’t make it to retirement on the winnings, why spend the dollar for the ticket?
So, this morning, when I took in the single ticket I bought last week and put it under the scanner to tell me how much I had won, I was shocked when it read, "Sorry, not a winner." Could my luck have finally run out? However, on the way home to start feeding, I found a five-gallon can of gasoline by the side of the road that had obviously fallen out of someone’s truck. Folks, it was unbroken….and full of fuel.
My luck prevails.
Jerry Crownover is a farmer and a 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 about his books or to arrange speaking engagements, you may contact him through his website at www.jerrycrownover.com.