We’re All In

Published 10:56 am Wednesday, May 22, 2013

All the chips are in. We’ve bet it all. It’s all on the table. The last seed went in the ground May 17, 2013, at 4:36 p.m. Now they have all been planted. The Milton field, the Long Cut, the Clubhouse field, the Boone Field, John’s, Chicken House Field, Pat and Billy’s, Leon’s, Little Tom’s, Len’s, Boyce’s, Willie Stringfield’s, Andrews Place, Lytle’s, Eley Farm, Willis Farm, Grace Howell’s, Spivey Farm, Sue Copeland’s, Minga’s, 10-acre Field, Elam’s and—finally —the Turf Farm. All planted, fence row to fence row, around the corners, along the paths, behind buildings, through wet places and over the sandy ridges. Row upon row upon row, every three feet across acre after acre after acre. Every patch of cleared land that can, should and could be planted is planted. It’s all out there – 15 million corn seeds, 18 million peanut seeds and 11 million cotton seeds.

And now, we wait.

The fertilizer bills come in. We wait.

The seed bills come in. We wait.

The herbicide bills come in. We wait.

The fuel bills, the insurance bills, the house mortgage, the groceries, utilities, car payment, and every other known expense come rolling in through the mailbox at the end of the lane, are brought in and piled up on the desk. And still, we wait.

We have begged and borrowed what we could get and thrown it all out there 1 inch below the surface. We have committed, waded in, played our one hand, crossed the Rubicon, unalterably and totally connecting ourselves to the soil, the sun and the rain. No turning back, no plan B, no alternative course. It’s done.

We hope the seeds sprout. We hope it rains. We hope it doesn’t rain too much. We hope for no new bugs, no new diseases, no early frost. We hope for no hail, no droughts, no hurricanes.

But now, it really doesn’t matter. Because it’s done.

Oh, yes —we’re all in.

REX ALPHIN of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is rexalphin@aol.com.