An affair to remember

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dear Peanut:

We both knew this day was coming. I must say, it has been a long and glorious relationship.

When we first met last May, it was love at first sight. I’m sure you felt the same way. We both decided way back then that we’d do all we could to help each other. We knew that any relationship takes work, and so we endeavored to make the sacrifices necessary that define true commitment. I must say, I have always been impressed with your continual effort.

From day one, you gave it all you had and held back nothing. I watched as you grew and turned into such a beauty. Sure, we seldom talked. But then again, we didn’t need to, for we understood each other. I confess to you that I found myself neglecting other duties to spend more time with you, and sometimes endured jealousy by others around me. But (just between you and me), it was worth it.

Perhaps it was in part due to our common heritage. Did you know that my father knew your father? I heard him speak fondly many times of “Florigiant” and I knew by the tone in his voice that something there was special. We met many of your aunts and uncles with those distinct nicknames like N.C. 11, N.C. 6, Wilson, Perry and others. We liked them all.

And certainly, thanks are in order. Mostly due to your efforts, both I, my siblings and many of our friends were able to attend college. You put furniture in our houses and meals on our tables.

Because of you we enjoyed vacations and even were able to buy land. It seems we benefited far more than you. And yet — being who you are — I never heard you complain.

But, alas, all good things must come to an end. We knew this couldn’t go on forever, didn’t we? In fact, I think I saw you shudder as we pulled that peanut digger out from under the shelter. And I must confess, it was difficult for me also. I couldn’t help but reflect on our times together. How I hurt when you were hurting and how I rejoiced when you were happy.

And so, as I pull into this first set of rows, we commend you for a job well done. You gave everything you had. But now, you will go to a new home and bring many people great joy.

I encourage you to not forget your roots. It was here — on this farm — that you grew and matured. It was here you reached your maximum potential. It was here we first came to know each other and form that special bond only those who have traveled this path can appreciate.

So I bid you farewell. I will always remember you. You were magnificent.


The Farmer

P.S. Who knows? Perhaps we’ll meet again next spring.

Rex alphin is a farmer, businessman and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His e-mail address is