Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sam Can’t

Sam Thinks He Can
But He Can't!
by Charlie Leck

I have a little friend up the road. His name is Sam. His wife, like mine, is a horse person, so they have a small farm and a barn and life is supposed to be idyllic in those conditions; that is, to the people who don't know that manure needs to be forked out and spread; horses need to be fed 24-7-365 a couple times a day; feed and hay need to be stock-piled somewhere; water has to be provided even when the temperature dips way below zero; farriers and vets need to be regularly contacted; manes need to be pulled and groomed; and general affection and attention needs to be given to the horses or they will turn into banshees.

Some time ago, Sam started a blog that he called: "Sam Thinks He Can!" That is, as in "Sam thinks he can write and manage a blog." A few months ago I suggested he think about renaming it, so he changed it to Prairie Ponderings. I'm not going to give you a link to it because Sam hasn't posted anything in over two months. I have come to think that he can't. It's difficult to do much pondering when you are as busy as Sam is.

I keep a blog list active on my computer. It tells me about all the blogs I like to visit regularly, including when they were last updated. Most of them say something like "twenty minutes ago" or "1 day ago" or, at worst, "1 week ago." Sam's now says "over 2 months ago."

Now, I've been patient – especially so for an impatient man – but I've had to come to the conclusion that I have been trying so hard to avoid: Sam can't.

Sam is a very bright guy. He writes well. He's very creative and imaginative. He's just too damned busy! That's generally because he can't say no. I've asked Sam for quite a few favors. He's never come up with an excuse. "Sure!" That's what he always says. I think he says that to everyone. He has an active law practice. He's very involved in politics. He helps his wife around the farm. There just isn't time to write a blog.

For quite a few years, I used to help around the farm. What I discovered was that, no matter how much you did, there remained an unending list of things to do. I just had to say that I couldn't do it. I didn't marry to work a farm. I forked years worth of manure into spreaders and I cut thousands and thousands of acres of weeds and several thousand acres of grass and pasture. I loaded thousands of bales of hay on wagons and hauled them out to the pastures and paddocks, broke them in sections and threw them into hay-feeders for breakfast or dinner.

Then came the sheep. That was the end. My wife hired a farmer who can do in two hours what it took me a long, long day to do. He's a professional. So, he can do it. I can't.

For good or bad, however, I can blog. Sometimes there's good stuff here. Sometimes there's material that is very ego-driven. Sometimes its sentimental or maudlin. Sometimes there's crap! However, count on this: four or five or, sometimes, 7 times a week, you'll get something new. I do it because I love it and because I want to leave behind a record – something of a memoir – before I head out to the stars. And, I do it because I love each and every ridiculous moment I'm doing it – with all the same energy and enthusiasm that our farmer spends plowing, planting, harvesting, stacking, feeding, repairing and starting all over again. Every single day he's out before daylight, getting his tasks done. So am I.


  1. Geez! What a jerk this guy must be. Changes the name of the blog to "Prairie Pondering" and then doesn't ponder. Sometimes a kick in the ass is just what's needed to get things going again.
    P.S. Thanks, friend.
    P.P.S. Busted. I hadn't read your blog for awhile. My blog guilt at not writing created an "if you don't write, you can't read" attitude.
    P.P.P.S. xoxox

  2. I wondered how long it would take you to get here, to read this. Blogging, I've discovered, is hard work. I have enough serious readers now (6 or 7) that I feel compelled to produce something regularly.